Author Archives: Team Eminent SEO

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

What’s the Difference Between Web Designer and Web Developer? Which Does My Business Need?

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Difference Between Web Designer and Web Developer - Eminent SEO

When discussing website construction, the terms web designer and web developer are very often used interchangeably. To the laity, both of these titles simply describe a person whose career is building websites for businesses, and to an extent they are right. However, web designers and web developers work in two separate, but often closely related, spheres of website production.

While the roles of web developers and web designers are different, both work hand in hand in order to create a visually stunning and structurally sound website. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences and similarities between these two types of professionals to help you decide which one you need for your business.

What Is a Web Designer?

Web Design vs Web Development Work Together - Eminent SEOA web designer’s job is all about capturing the essence of a client’s vision and transforming it into a model of a potential website that is both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. Similar to the way an engineer is responsible for designing the blueprints and models for a bridge before construction begins, a web designer’s task is to create the look and feel of a website before the web developer can bring it to life.

A good web designer will be equal parts artist and craftsman, possessing both a solid understanding of design theory, as well as the technological limitations faced by the development team in charge of building the website.

A web designer’s job description includes skills such as:

  • Knowledge and proficiency in both logo and graphic design
  • An understanding of design theory, including flow, color, spacing, balance and proportion.
  • An intuitive feel for creating the best user experience for a website’s visitors
  • In-depth knowledge of software tools such as Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Canva
  • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of the latest trends in the design world

What Is a Web Developer?

A web developer’s job is to take the models and sketches for a website created by the web designer and turn them into fully functional webpages. If the web designer’s role can be likened to that of an engineer or architect, consider the web developer as a sort of construction worker responsible for building the website from the ground up.

Web development can be broken down into two main categories: front-end development and back-end development.

The Front-End Web Developer

The front end of a website is what visitors will see and interact with on their browser. Also known as the “client side,” the front end consists of all of the text, images, colors, buttons, internal links and menus that the user experiences directly.

In short, the front-end developer is responsible for making sure that the visitor experiences an error-free website that looks exactly how the web designer envisioned it.

There are three primary coding languages used by front-end developers. These languages are:

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
  • Javascript (JS)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

The Back-End Web Developer

A website’s back end refers to the portion of a website that a visitor will never directly experience, and is made up of three parts: an application, a server and a database. The back end serves as the link between the server and the website’s visitors.

The majority of the code for the web application can be found on the back end. It’s important to keep in mind that poor coding on the back end will translate to a sluggish, glitchy performance on the front end.

Back-end coding languages differ from front-end coding languages, and include:

  • Python
  • PHP
  • Ruby on Rails
  • SQL
  • Java
  • NET

A backend developer is responsible for making sure that all of the right data gets sent from the server to the browser. If the front end is the 10 percent of the iceberg that floats above the water’s surface, the back end is the other 90 percent that remains submerged.

Which of These Professionals Should Your Business Use?

Web designers and web developers are both crucial players in creating an awesome website for your business, so it only makes sense to recruit the help of both.

There’s a reason why the saying “two heads are better than one” has been around for so long: because it’s the truth! When a proficient designer and developer collaborate, they can make magic happen. These two groups of professionals each bring a unique set of skills to the table, both of which are vital to the success of a website project.

The Importance of Working Together

Front End Website 10 Percent Back End 10 Percent - Eminent SEOHaving the design and development teams work side by side ensures that everyone is able to plan and execute the project efficiently and effectively. Allowing the design team to run their sketches and mockups for the website past the development team on an ongoing basis guarantees that the initial design approved by the client is both practical and achievable.

After all, as a client, you never want to hear that the design team bit off more than they could chew halfway through a project.

Not only is working together from day one a surefire way to avoid many costly and time-consuming setbacks, it allows two different types of creative minds to work in synergy, creating a website that not only meets but exceeds the client’s expectations.

Additional benefits of hiring a close-knit team of web designers and developers include:

  • Having multiple sets of eyes on every stage of website construction, identifying and correcting flaws and mistakes as they arise
  • The opportunity for creative brainstorming between both right-brain thinkers (designers) and left-brain thinkers (developers)
  • Mutual accountability between the two teams
  • A finished product where the aesthetic elements complement the interactive elements, and vice versa

Despite the Difference Between Web Designer and Web Developer, Should I Hire a Hybrid Specialist?

If you are looking to build a website for your business but have only a limited budget for the project, it might be tempting to hire a single person playing the role of a hybrid designer-developer. This approach may work for some businesses owners, especially those looking for a fairly basic website and are not overly concerned with visitor engagement and conversion. However, like most things in life, you are likely to get what you pay for.

A so-called “jack of all trades” is unlikely to possess a deep understanding of both web design and web development, which means that projects tend to take longer to complete, and the final product is unlikely to live up to your, and even their, expectations.

Moving Forward

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the dynamic relationship between the web designer and the web developer, and just how important each role is in creating the perfect website for your business.

If you still have questions about the various considerations that go into building a website, come check out our website design and development page and learn more about how the expert team of designers and developers at Eminent SEO can help you grow your business and your web presence.

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 79: How Well Do You Understand the Buyer’s Journey?

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Understand The Buyer's Journey Vol 79 Newsletter - Eminent SEO

Get Familiar with the Buyer’s Journey

You’ve probably noticed that consumers today are more cognizant and wary of sales pitches than in decades past. It’s becoming more and more difficult to walk up to a person and try to sell them your product. In fact, approaching them in such a direct manner may ruin any chance of selling them something they otherwise might be interested in.

“Don’t call us; we’ll call you,” might as well be today’s mantra among consumers. This is why it’s so crucial for sales and marketing teams to understand the modern Buyer’s Journey.

Companies may differ on how they interpret today’s buyer’s journey, but at Eminent SEO, we believe it progresses in five distinct steps:

Five Stages Of The Buyers Journey - Eminent SEODo you want to make that sale, after all? Then you have to be patient and feed your target customer the knowledge they need to make that purchase – likely weeks, months or possibly a couple of years down the road.

Once you get a grasp of the buyer’s journey, you will start to determine how long it usually takes to close one of your leads into a sale, and what you need to do along the way. You will also start to figure how to qualify your leads better and provide them with useful resources.

Do You Need Help Converting Leads into Sales?

Our Approach Gets Results

Buyer’s Journey Takeaway

The buyer’s journey is a long road, and sales teams need to understand that leads don’t close overnight. They also do not want to be sold. A solid strategy requires an integrative sales and marketing nurturing approach.Click To Tweet

Resources to Further Understand the Buyer’s Journey

Understand The Buyer's Journey To Convert Leads Into Sales - Eminent SEO

How to Convert Leads into Sales by Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

See the Full Article

Sales + Marketing = SUCCESS - Eminent SEO

How to Build an Aligned Sales and Marketing Strategy

See the Full Article

Business & Marketing Tips

Here are some simple steps to consider when nurturing leads or developing a lead-nurturing strategy for your sales team:

  1. Segment your leads.
  2. Build a lead-scoring strategy and score your leads.
  3. Develop canned responses for your sales team.
  4. Invest in more targeted content for various buying stages.
  5. Start the conversation.
  6. Remember that less is more (simple landing pages).
  7. Automate as much as possible.
  8. Be timely in your responses.
  9. Be personal.
  10. Align your sales and marketing strategies (see the “Related Reads” section above).

Buyer’s Journey FAQ

Q: In which stage of the buyer’s journey do most Facebook ad referrals fall?

See the Answer

Through Facebook Ads, you can now target users who will then directly message you through Facebook Messenger.

Over the last year, our team has extensively tested this process. What we have found is that most of these leads are in the Awareness or Consideration stages of the buyer’s journey.

This means most people are eager to share the problem they are running into, but they are rarely ready to purchase anything right then and there. This lends credence to the fact you have to nurture your leads and remain patient.

 

Who We Help

The cannabis industry – medical and recreational – is blossoming and becoming quite competitive. So, how can new cannabis dispensaries and businesses raise awareness for their brands and get in front of potential customers?
Cannabis Branding And Marketing Services - ESEO

We Can Help.
Explore Our Professional Cannabis Branding and Marketing Services:

How We Market Cannabis Businesses

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Business Success Guide: Rise and Shine with These Hacks

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Business Success Guide Rise And Shine - Eminent SEO

In an era of ever-changing consumer tastes and preferences, challenges have become the dominant constants in every sector. Industries that hitherto thrived on traditional business methods are now faced with the challenge of business success in the age of competition.

So, which factors scale up productivity and ultimately bring about success? It’s quite straightforward. Rather than dwelling on the setbacks, here are top hacks that can help your business to rise and shine.

Set Up a Business Website

Getting ahead of your competition is no easy task, and when aiming to achieve optimum business success, your to-do list will never end. That said, setting up a business website is one way to stand out from your competition. Don’t take shortcuts. It is imperative to have a website that tells both potential and existing customers that you mean business.

In fact, most consumer business purchase decisions start with a search engine. So, what does this mean for your business? First impressions count. By now, it’s clear that a great business website is crucial for business success.

Improve Workflow Organization

Time tracking and workflow organization allow both management and staff to keep track of projects as well as goal progress. You can optimize and implement a system for tracking employee workloads and responsibilities. If an employee is getting off track, it’s immediately identified, and an opportunity for a timely correction is provided.

Such a system should also facilitate clear communication between employees to allow them to sync their short-term and long-term goals. Also, this type of system should help you look at the business process from the view of a regular employee. From there, you could draft a clearer map of workflow organization.

Utilize Emerging Technologies

Establish Your Brand Quote Danielle Knox - Eminent SEOToday’s ideal workplace involves instant communication and mass access of data and information. Providing employees with the latest technology allows them to perform their duties on time and with minimal effort.

Sure, implementing the latest tech can come at a cost, but consider the outcome. You’ll save countless hours and increase employee productivity. Moreover, online-based tools and technologies reduce cost and improve efficiency. Here are some examples:

  • E-conferencing: Today’s workforce is no longer constrained by geographical boundaries. Innovations in cloud computing and faster internet allow business meetings to go on without being chained to one specific physical location.
  • E-purchasing: Online purchasing is an alternative way to get goods or services from a supplier’s store. While electronic purchasing is extremely competitive, it helps improve customer service, reduce the cost of the transaction and improve profitability.

Keep Employees Happy

So, how do you ensure that your employees are happy? Foster employee empowerment, development and appreciation.

Employee Empowerment

Empowerment entails giving your employees the autonomy to make important decisions. However, note that employee empowerment is not about management relinquishing all authority. Instead, it’s about trusting your staff to make certain decisions based on their individual capabilities.

Employee empowerment fosters a sense of independence in an organization. As a result, the workplace becomes flexible. Staff members are most productive when satisfied, appreciated and indulged in decision making.

Encourage and provide active learning and development for your employees to help them hone their professional skills. This way, they can take on the challenges that come with decision making.

Positive Reinforcement

Set Up Business Website Get One Yesterday Quote - Eminent SEOWhile training and employee empowerment are a great start, you also have to motivate, encourage and reward. A gloomy workplace reduces productivity.

Whatever needs to be done to cheer up your team, do it: Order pizza at work; offer free tea…the list is endless.

Try to show employees that the company is concerned for them. For instance, offer personalized incentives for outstanding individuals.

Collaborating with insurance companies to provide car insurance for employees can be another way of rewarding them.

Remember, when your staff members are motivated, improved productivity is a priority on their to-do list. A study conducted by the University of Warwick indicates that motivated employees are at least 12 percent more productive.

Instill a Continuous Improvement Approach

Improving business success is an ongoing process. As a result, you must set up a flexible plan to help you develop a continuous improvement approach. Start by assessing what successful businesses in your industry do. However, do not copy. Though you might be in the same industry, what works for them might not work for your business.

The next step in establishing a continuous improvement approach is identifying your weaknesses. If you feel that your decision cannot be impartial, seek external help in order to get an objective viewpoint on the areas to improve. After identifying the strengths and weaknesses, look for a breakthrough. Continuous improvement facilitates success without necessarily incurring more cost.

Commit to Excellent Customer Service

Employees are the people behind the scenes of a business’s success. But customers are the focal point of any business. To improve your business success rate, you must focus on both existing and potential customers.

Excellent customer service entails making sure your products and services fulfill the customer’s need. No matter your business niche, you can make customers feel valued and appreciated. Satisfied customers are an asset. Ask for feedback, opinions and suggestions to better fulfill the customer’s (and future customers’) needs.

Take Calculated Risks

Many businesses spend a lot of time trying to predict all possible unfavorable outcomes. But this is nearly impossible. Sometimes, when making business decisions, you might feel like you are in a life-or-death situation. But inaction will prohibit progress and iterations that get your business closer to success.

Always seek to disrupt yourself from your comfort zone and take calculated risks to stay ahead in a dynamic world. Trust your instincts and have grit.

Business Success Guide Final Tip: Embrace Technology and Change

The aforementioned mentioned hacks can result in notable changes in a business’s success. If your business has not embraced technology, it’s time. Technology will allow you to tap into a vast network of connections and exponentially expand your market.

When stakes are higher and the playing field wider, it is imperative that you make your business flexible to change. Seriously assess how your business is currently operating and be open to any potential changes. In other words, always strive to measure your success to see if your business is truly moving forward.

Learn How to Align Your Sales & Marketing Teams

 
Helen Cartwright Writer HeadshotNote: This is a guest blog post written by Helen Cartwright.

See more from Helen at http://www.helencartwright.com/

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 78: Eminent SEO Is Now Taking Cannabis Industry Clients

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Newsletter Vol 78 Marijuana Dispensary Marketing - Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO Can Help with Marijuana Dispensary Marketing

The cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., but marketing has still proven to be a challenge for many medical dispensaries. So how can you raise brand awareness and get in front of the right people?

Learn how Eminent SEO is helping companies in the cannabis industry elevate their branding and marketing:

How We Help Cannabis Companies

Message from Our CEO

“One of the most common mistakes business owners continue to make is not allocating enough budget for marketing. Successful CEOs understand that marketing drives sales and therefore it is not an expense, but rather an investment into the future of their company.” – Jenny StradlingClick To Tweet

Leads and Conversions Are Not Always the Same Thing

As digital marketers, it is our job to help our clients grow their brand presence, develop strong marketing messages and drive qualified leads to their website. However, the marketing process doesn’t end there. Oftentimes, a first-time website visitor is not ready to buy immediately.

By better understanding the buyer’s journey, your team can develop a sales strategy that considers the entire funnel, driving a much higher conversion rate.

The New Marketing And Sales Funnel Pyramid - Eminent SEO

Learn more about converting leads into sales by understanding the buyer’s journey through our recent blog article:

How to Nurture Leads into Sales

Wondering How Long SEO Takes and If It’s Really Worth the Investment?

We wouldn’t be in business if clients didn’t see the benefit and value of SEO. But, we won’t sugarcoat it: SEO is hard work, it takes time and it’s usually a bigger investment on the front end.

However, when you really compare the expense of organic search engine marketing to other digital channels – such as media buys and paid ads – SEO wins every time.

Still not convinced? Let’s let the data to do the talking…

Real SEO Case Study: Transitioning from Google Ads to an Organic SEO Strategy

In October of last year, an addiction recovery center came to us with a huge Google paid ad budget and a cost per admit that was higher than the price of treatment. We transitioned them to an SEO strategy right before the big Google AdWords smackdown, and now look at the data:

Transitioning From Google Ads To Organic SEO Strategy Data - Eminent SEO

This organic SEO traffic would have cost nearly $200K in paid ad costs. We saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars per month on paid ads, and their ongoing organic campaign is a fraction of the cost with a higher conversion rate.

Winning!

Want more examples and a deeper look at the long-term value SEO can provide? Keep reading:

How Long Does SEO Take – Case Studies

Customer Survey on Worst SEO Habits

Bad SEO Habits In 2018 - Eminent SEO

On our Facebook page, we’re currently running a poll that we’d like you to vote in! We’re asking what’s the worst SEO habit you could have as a webmaster in 2018.

The options are:

  1. Creating a new webpage for each keyword variation
  2. Purchasing bulk links from low-quality directories
  3. Never running a backlink audit
  4. Studying tracked keywords only
  5. Not adapting to the constant changes in the industry

In your opinion, which one of those is the worst SEO habit to have?

Vote in Our Facebook Poll

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 77: Nonprofit Project Launch and Bad SEO Habits in 2018

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Eminent SEO Newsletter Vol 77 Nonprofit Project Launch 2018

Partnership in Recovery

Eminent SEO has proudly served the addiction treatment care community for more than a decade. With the opioid epidemic sweeping the country, the death toll continues to climb. What can be done?

The truth is, there is a big void that needs to be filled. The government and private insurance providers only cover so much. There’s a gap when it comes to funding the vast ongoing needs of those in addiction recovery. Insurance may cover treatment, for example, but not housing, food and other necessities. Some have been out of work, and not everyone can afford even the most basic necessities.

That’s where The ECHO Foundation comes in. Longtime recovery professional, Jim Haggerty, founded this nonprofit in 2014 and dedicated the organization to educating, mentoring and providing tools and resources to individuals seeking addiction treatment. Eminent SEO joined the effort by offering to create the branding, develop the website and manage the marketing. Together, we know we can make a difference.
ECHO Recovery New Website Launch On iPhone - Eminent SEOView the beautiful new site and, if you feel inspired, please consider donating. Every penny counts.

Thanks for your support, fam.

Visit ECHO Recovery

Inspirational Quote

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.

– Coretta Scott King

Our Website Highlights

New Addiction Treatment Certification Allows Rehabs to Bid on AdWords AgainSeveral of our addiction treatment center clients here at Eminent SEO have asked us about this news: “Exclusive: Google unveils vetting process for drug rehab ads.” So, we took to our blog to answer the most pressing questions stemming from this recent Google development.

Read More

Examples Of Neuromarketing Marketing Strategy - Eminent SEOThere’s an intuitiveness to digital marketing that if your campaigns aren’t geared toward each platform uniquely, your advertising and social spends may miss your proposed target audience. Why? See our latest neuromarketing blog post.

Read More

Customer Survey on Bad SEO Habits in 2018

SEO changes so often that even last year’s techniques can be outdated. As we progress into 2018, our team took a moment to reflect on some of the outdated SEO tactics of yesteryear to develop a list of our top five.

Bad SEO Habits In 2018 - Eminent SEOOut of the choices below, what do you think is THE WORST habit you can have as an SEO specialist in 2018?

1. Creating one page for EACH keyword variation.

SEO isn’t about tricking Google into serving up your site. Writing content that is valuable to your users should always be rule No. 1. Google rewards websites that provide a great user experience. No user wants to read 100 pages on the same subject. Sure, that used to work. Today, it will only hurt your rankings with Google.

2. Mass purchasing links from poor directories.

Look, links matter; if we are guessing right, they always will. It’s a world wide WEB. How else will Google connect the dots? Links help search engines find useful content, too. However, not all links are created equal. A huge increase in low-quality links will definitely raise a red flag with Google. Instead, focus on quality over quantity.

3. Not conducting backlink audits EVER.

Even if you don’t buy links and work on “white-hat SEO” link-earning techniques only, that doesn’t prevent other sites from linking to you. Spammy sites that rely on scraped content, for example, can show up in your backlink index in huge numbers. Google holds you responsible for your backlinks, purchased or not. Monitoring them is key to avoiding a bigger issue.

4. Spending time looking at and studying tracked keywords ONLY.

We stopped reporting on keyword rankings as a primary organic marketing key performance deliverable years ago. Why? The data lies. Search results are now personalized, localized and even limited, depending on the device you search from. Rankings don’t tell the full story. Instead, use the amount of traffic, user engagement and quality of the leads to measure organic success.

5. Practicing SEO as if the industry NEVER changes.

If you follow SEO at all, chances are you know how fast this industry changes. As a team, we listen to podcasts, read articles, conduct studies and share new ideas on SEO daily. If you’re not making a regular effort to educate yourself on the latest news and best practices, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Education is power and, in this case, your key to success with SEO today.

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Vol. 76: Find Your Way to Sales and Marketing Success

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Find Your Way To Sales And Marketing Success - Eminent SEO Newsletter Vol 76

Synergy Between Your Sales and Marketing Teams

Whether you have an in-house marketing team or you use an agency, your sales and marketing teams must work in tandem. Yes, there will be some crossover as far as which team handles which duties. But ultimately, the two teams need to serve distinct (yet interrelated) roles.

Your marketing agency or in-house team is essentially responsible for delivering business leads, and then it’s up to your sales team to close those leads and produce revenue for your company.

This sequence is futile if the two sides don’t communicate well. The sales team must continually report and provide feedback on the quality of the leads. If the leads are mostly calling about general info or asking off-the-wall questions, then it’s up to the marketing team to refine its tactics and target a more specific potential buyer.

At Eminent SEO, it’s our goal to not only increase the number of your leads through digital channels, but to deliver highly qualified leads in the process. We strive to build positive rapport with your sales team to open up a constant dialog about the quality of your leads. It makes all of our jobs easier – and ends up with a better ROI for your sales and marketing dollars.

See Whom We Work With

Inspirational Quote

“The objective of all advertising is to buy new customers at a profit. Learn what your customers cost and what they buy … Spend all of your ammunition where it counts.”

– Claude C. Hopkins, “Scientific Advertising” (1923)

Website Highlights: Is Your Business Aligned for Sales and Marketing Success?

Sales + Marketing = SUCCESS - Eminent SEO

In her latest blog entry, Eminent SEO cofounder and CEO Jenny Stradling gets into the specifics on the roles that your marketing and sales teams play in achieving the overall goals of your business.

“What is the difference between a marketing-qualified lead and a sales-qualified lead?”

“How do I track sales back to their originating source?”

“Do I need to use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool for my business?

“What do I need to track in a CRM?”

See the answers to these and other relevant questions, along with insight into how to align your sales and marketing strategy, in the full article:

Sales & Marketing Alignment Advice

Customer Survey

How Many Payment Options For Clients - Eminent SEO

Take the Poll on Facebook!

Answer FAQ

At Eminent SEO, we love to educate our clients, fellow small business owners and the wider public on the basics of SEO, marketing and business needs. In talking among ourselves and to our clients, there are dozens of unique terms, abbreviations and slang we use quite often. Without a knowledge and understanding of the terms, how can you – as a business owner – understand how they affect your bottom line?

What is a website landing page?

Landing Page – A landing page can be any page on a website that is accessible to search engines or that can be linked to directly. Most times, a landing page suggests a specific page on a website that is meant to attract new website visitors through both organic marketing and paid marketing efforts.

What are long-tail keywords?

Long-Tail Keywords (Long-Tail Keyword Phrases) – Keywords grouped in three or more words that are more specific and generally less competitive. These are used in the SEO industry with the intent of getting better conversions since the terms are usually more targeted than higher search volume keywords that are overly broad.

Example: “Find an Internet Marketing Company in Arizona” is a long-tail keyword versus “Internet Marketing,” which is general and likely overly competitive.

 

Use Our Free SEO Slang Resource to Get a Stronger Understanding of SEO

SEO & Marketing Terms to Know

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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The Pros and Cons of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)

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Pros And Cons of Accelerated Mobile Pages AMPs - Eminent SEO

First announced to the public in late 2015, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, has reshaped the way we surf the internet and consume content via our mobile devices. Because webpages running on the AMP format load directly from Google’s servers and are built with a stripped-down version of HTML, they consume up to 10 times less data than non-AMP pages. This means that AMPs load incredibly fast compared to traditional mobile pages.

In today’s tech-based culture, users value speed and efficiency above all else. Google knows this and hopes that with its open-source AMP platform, it can provide users with information at record-breaking speeds.

We’ve written on this topic before, but it’s time for an update. In recent months, Google has announced some major changes to the AMP platform – changes that have left many publishers wondering, “Is adding AMPs a smart move for my website?”

Recent Changes to the AMP Platform

AMP is an ever-evolving project that aims to reshape consumer behavior. Here are some recent changes to the platform that publishers should be aware of:

AMP Is Rolling Out More Customization Options

From day one, the AMP project has prioritized speed over style. AMPs may load with lightning speed, but the lack of design capabilities and interactive features often discourage visitors from actively engaging with the content.

Recently, however, there have been some much-needed improvements in functionality and customization options. Today, AMP pages are beginning to look much more like their non-AMP counterparts. Now we’re seeing webpages that load quickly and still look stylish; what more could you ask for?

New URL Displays Are on the Horizon

As it stands, AMP pages display a Google-based URL instead of the actual website’s URL. Obviously, this can be rather frustrating for publishers hoping to build brand recognition.

Fortunately, Google has announced that by late 2018 they plan to display the publisher’s domain in search results sourced from their AMP cache. This is encouraging news for brand marketers, but we’re going to wait until the full plan is unveiled before we get too excited.

AMPs for All Devices

Once exclusive to mobile search results, AMPs have made their way to desktop search results as well. If you want your site to remain competitive, you’ll need to make sure that any AMPs you build are functional across all web-browsing devices. If they’re not, you risk subjecting much of your audience to a clunky, frustrating experience.

Crackdown on Teaser Pages

Some publishers have found a way to work around the AMP project’s disadvantages. So-called “teaser pages” are stored in the AMP cache and benefit from increased speed and priority placement on Google’s carousel.

These teaser pages then link to the publisher’s native non-AMP page through a call to action, such as a “Continue Reading Here” button. Publishers had effectively found a way to have their cake and eat it too.

Google is putting a stop to this workaround by requiring that both the AMP and non-AMP versions of a webpage contain the same content. If Google believes a publisher is using their AMP page as a teaser, it will simply stop directing traffic there.

The Benefits of AMPs

Here are the pros of using AMPs in your digital marketing strategy:

Increased Speed

AMPs have a major speed advantage over traditional mobile pages. The increased loading speed of AMP content comes with a host of benefits, including:

  1. Visitors are more likely to engage with content and make purchases on pages when they know the process will be quick and hassle free.
  2. Shorter load times also mean that visitors are less likely to lose patience and navigate away from your content.

Increased Visibility

At the moment, using AMPs won’t automatically increase your page or domain authority. However, AMPs are eligible to be displayed in Google’s “Top Stories” carousel, which sits at or near the top of search results pages, depending on what you search. While Google’s carousel mostly features news articles, if you create an AMP on a frequently searched or hot topic, your content can potentially “skip the line” and jump all the way to page one of a Google search.

Also, Google’s carousel is no longer the only spot while you will find AMP content. Since 2016, Google has featured AMP pages in the organic search results as well. The AMP logo (a white or gray lightning bolt in a blue circle) can be seen just beneath the meta title of all AMP entries. For certain searches, you may see AMP-only results throughout page one.

Increased Visitor Engagement

The evidence is beginning to show that visitors are more likely to engage with the content on AMPs compared to traditional mobile pages. The minimalist design of AMPs makes it easier for visitors to navigate through the content on your page.

Visitors will be more likely to leave comments, watch embedded videos and follow links when they aren’t distracted by the clutter typically found on non-AMP pages.

 

The Drawbacks of AMPs

Unfortunately, there are a few cons of AMPs that we must mention:

AMPs May Not Increase Site Traffic

Because AMP content has a Google URL and resides in Google’s servers, AMPs won’t directly increase traffic to your website. While Google has announced plans to remedy this problem in the future, clever publishers have already developed effective workarounds.

For example, AMP publishers can add a comment button to the end of an article, but when the visitor clicks it, they arrive on an equivalent page on the publisher’s own site, which is where they’ll actually leave the comment.

Keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world if users don’t click through an AMP page to the publisher’s website. After all, just having your content reach the front page of a Google search result will go a long way in building brand recognition, especially if users keep seeing your content again and again.

Coordination Problem

While the AMPs themselves may load quickly, any external content on the page is likely to lag behind. This is a big problem when it comes to hosting advertisements. Visitors are likely to scroll past an ad before it has loaded, killing any chance at conversion.

Google claims to be in the process of addressing this problem, but until it does, publishers need to take this variable into account.

Analytics Leave Much to Be Desired

Google usually sets the standard for quality analytics, but the analytics available for AMPs are pretty unsatisfying at the moment. While you can keep track of basic metrics like visitors and engagement, you won’t have much data to work with to improve your visitor’s experience.
 
For an easy reminder of the pros and cons of accelerated mobile pages, feel free to download or share this image:
Accelerated Mobile Pages AMPs Speed Visibility Analytics - Eminent SEO

The Pros and Cons of Accelerated Mobile Pages for YOUR Website

Even though AMPs are most beneficial for news publishers, any business that maintains a blog and publishes timely content on popular topics can potentially benefit from this technology. This is especially true if there is a techie on staff who can learn to build webpages using the AMP code.

On the other hand, businesses that publish evergreen content (or don’t have a blog at all) may find that the time and money it takes to duplicate parts of their website in the AMP format is just not worth it.

Still unsure whether your business should try it out? Contact us today, and our team of expert designers and SEO analysts will help you determine if AMPs are a wise choice for your website.

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Vol. 75: No More Wasted Marketing Dollars

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Eminent SEO Newsletter Volume 75 March 2018

Push Your Business Further Toward Success

It’s time to stop the madness!

So many businesses are still entranced with marketing channels that no longer yield a worthwhile ROI. Using outdated and non-data-driven tactics just isn’t going to get it done, whether online or off.

As we continue to get our feet settled in 2018, we are pleading to businesses small and large to stop using marketing tactics that essentially flush money down the drain.

We’re ready to step in. Below you will find actionable tips and links to help your company make smarter decisions on how to spend your valuable marketing dollars.

Spend Your Marketing Dollars Wisely

Inspirational Quote

“We have some good ideas here. But the only way to know if they’re workable is to try to make them fail. If we fail to fail, then maybe we’re on the right track.”

– Orson Scott Card

Website Highlights: Avoid Wasted Marketing Dollars

Businesses Wasted Marketing Dollars Doesnt Work - Eminent SEO

Our own Melanie Stern explains how to not get taken by shady marketers promising hundreds of instant leads. She also covers six channels and tactics you should explore instead.

Read More

Business & Marketing Tip

Is there another site copying your content and passing it off as their own? Try out Google’s in-content search operator.

Find out if someone is plagiarizing you by copying a unique quote or phrase from your own online content and entering it into Google Search like this:

intext:”quote or phrase”

Google Intext Search - ESEO

If sites other than yours are showing up at the top with an exact or near-exact match, then there’s a problem.

Answer FAQ

QUESTION:
What are some of the most effective digital marketing channels for small businesses today?

ANSWER:
All small businesses should invest into these four staples:

1. Website SEO and Organic Marketing

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving your website’s organic (aka not paid) search engine rankings. Not only does solid SEO get you visibility online, but it is also proven to win customers. According to research from Google, roughly half of customers who search for local businesses from their mobile devices end up making purchases the very same day!

2. Content and Brand Asset Development

Want more brand and website visibility? Start by creating high-quality content and visual assets. Branded content includes everything from expert website copy and useful blog posts to insightful videos and eye-catching infographics. Creating valuable digital content will add trust and value to the brand long term.

3. Social Media

Small businesses must have a social media presence. Social platforms are a great way to connect with your customers directly. If you’re just getting started, remember that less is more. Stick to the platforms your customers are using the most. Share valuable content, but also identify and engage with key influencers in your space.

The goal is to get other pages to share your content, but before you can do that, you must spend some time building relationships.

4. Email Marketing

Often overlooked, email marketing is still a great tactic for small and large businesses alike. Grow your list organically by offering valuable information in exchange for an email address. You can also run contests, host a quiz or offer a monthly newsletter. But remember: No one wants to be spammed.

Instead of promotional-only content, offer valuable information to your subscribers, such as industry news, how-to guides, tips and other helpful advice.

Customer Survey

The more avenues you have to receive a payment from a current or prospective client, the better.

How many payment options do you provide?

How Many Payment Options For Clients - Eminent SEO

Take the Poll

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6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Call Tracking to Show Marketing ROI

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Your Business Needs Call Tracking Software - Eminent SEO

You may rely on phone calls to generate leads and sales for your business, but do you know exactly where these calls are coming from? Was it your website that inspired the caller to reach out to you? If so, which page sparked their interest?

What about your traditional ads, like magazine or billboard spots? Do you know exactly how much business each of these advertising assets is bringing in for your company?

You’ll need to know the answer to these questions if you want to unlock the full value of your advertising dollars. Thankfully, this process is more automated today than ever before. No more asking callers where they heard of your business before calling. Instead, you can leverage versatile call tracking software that can be integrated directly into your website.

Why Use Call Tracking Software?

Call tracking can be used to analyze, optimize and grow an organization’s return on marketing investments. An established call tracking platform will make it easy to see what’s working and what’s not.

It should be clear which ad sources are worth the investment – the ones that are generating leads – and which strategies to pull your money out of – the ones that are generating crickets. This analysis ensures that you have the opportunity to direct all of your funds toward the most promising campaigns.

Who Could Use Call Tracking?

Call tracking can be very helpful for businesses of all sizes, from food trucks and mom-and-pop shops to SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) and multinational corporations. Any company that relies on phone communication to provide a major source of revenue can streamline its operations by taking advantage of call tracking.

Your Business Needs Call Tracking Software: 6 Reasons Why

Call tracking provides a long list of benefits to any business that uses it, but we’ve narrowed it down to six of the top reasons, in no particular order, you should consider using this type of software:

Discover Customer and Business Information

Call tracking helps identify peak hours when users interact with your business, as well as how: through organic search, paid ads, local search, social media, etc. The ability to track each consumer’s personal engagement with your brand is an immensely powerful tool for your marketing team.

Additionally, most modern call tracking software programs are designed with the understanding that marketers are interested in collecting detailed demographic information about their callers. It is then up to your company to leverage this data effectively to optimize and improve your marketing strategy.

Monitor Marketing Channel and Campaign Performance

Call Tracking You Must Score Your Calls Ad Sources - Eminent SEOMany call tracking software programs allow you to track calls on multiple levels:

  • Keyword
  • Campaign
  • Multi-channel attribution

Using call tracking software, marketers are able see the keywords that drive the most phone calls and conversions. By being able to identify the keywords that are driving calls, marketers will have more insight for developing content strategies as well as improving engagement for pay-per-click campaigns that are already underway.

Campaign tracking allows you to monitor any type of marketing channel, both online and offline. By using unique phone numbers for each channel, you’re able to see the performance of each channel in real time. This data helps you analyze which lines of communication are reaching your audience most directly.

Since most customers these days interact with a business in multiple ways, multi-channel attribution enables marketers to track the path of a lead through every step of engagement. With information beyond the first and last touch points, this feature paints a clear picture of which specific channels result in conversions – and which ones are bottlenecks in the buyer’s journey.

Review Landing Page and Keyword Data

As online marketers, we recognize the relationship between upward-trending page visits and conversions via mobile search. Since this is a significant source of high-quality traffic, it is vital that we know which keywords result in conversions on mobile. Call tracking software is the perfect tool for answering these questions.

Additionally, the keyword data helps your company to identify trends between search terms and the quality scores of dedicated landing pages.

Assess Call Quality, Customer Service and Sales

Many call tracking software programs provide the ability to record calls. Analyzing this data along with call volumes can help your business make necessary adjustments to boost call and customer-service quality internally.

If you start “scoring” your calls and incorporating personnel development into the call tracking process, then you’re really taking your marketing to the next level. Scoring calls means ranking an employee’s performance, based on their ability to fulfill a designated criteria, such as:

  • Engaging with potential leads
  • Guiding a caller to a purchase
  • Providing information to unqualified leads
  • Responding to callers asking for general info

Recording and scoring calls provides a gold mine of otherwise-missed opportunities to grow your business. Comparing your call volumes, conversation lengths and call-quality trends will help you plan and implement successful marketing campaigns.

Additional examples of data that can be collected through a call-tracking platform includes:

  • Total calls answered
  • Number of calls converted
  • Number and type of outgoing calls made
  • Revenue generated

Measure Marketing ROI and Effectiveness of Your Advertising Campaigns

In all likelihood, you’re already using several tools to manage various aspects of your business – such as email and inbound marketing, contacts through CRM, and team chat. The best call tracking programs will integrate efficiently with the tools you already use. This will help you understand which combinations are performing well and which tools are in need of more support.

Through this integration, you can also learn more about how visitors are interacting with your brand and where they are in the buyer’s journey. In addition, analytics and ROI stats help you measure and attribute engagement and conversion points to specific sources, campaigns or posts.

Comply with Industry Standards

If your business is in the health care field, then you already know the importance of complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Certain call tracking programs are designed to comply with HIPAA, and they will keep your callers’ information secure while protecting your business as well.

Maintaining compliance with HIPAA does not apply to every business, but some organizations will be subject to violations if they start using call tracking software that isn’t HIPAA friendly. Make sure you find the software solution that best suits all of your organization’s specific needs.

Help with Setting Up and Understanding Call Tracking

Call tracking can get pretty complicated, so don’t be shy in asking for help from experienced digital marketers to set up this software and understand how to use it. At Eminent SEO, we rely heavily on call tracking software to understand our clients’ callers and evaluate which ad sources are and are not making an impact on the campaigns. Our team is data driven, so we use call tracking stats to develop custom marketing ROI reports for our clients.

If you’d like to learn more about integrating call tracking software into your website and your other digital tools, we’d be happy to provide direction. Just reach out to us anytime.

Our Tracking and Reporting Approach

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Body Language Tips: How to Carry Yourself in Job Interviews and Professional Conversations

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Body Language Tips For Job Interviews Professional Conversations - Eminent SEO
You walk into a meeting room with an interviewer. From that moment, the person is unconsciously noticing the expression on your face, whether you are slouching or standing tall, what you are carrying in your hands and what you are wearing.

While we rarely consciously think about body language cues, we recognize when someone is demonstrating positive business etiquette, showing confidence or communicating weakness. Carrying yourself well in interviews, business presentations and other professional conversations gives you an advantage in how you are perceived.

The Handshake Is Your First and Last Impression

The first and last contact you have with an interviewer is the handshake. What you convey in that handshake is vital to creating a positive lasting impression. A handshake, when it is done well, conveys a sense of trust. A firm grip conveys confidence, while a weak handshake conveys weakness.

Ironically, a painfully firm grip conveys that you are compensating for a lack of confidence. Combine a firm handshake with a smile, and look directly into the other person’s eyes. Altogether, this gives a sense of a confident, likeable, trustworthy person.

Use Mirroring to Rapidly Create Rapport

Psychology tells us that we tend to like people who like us and share similar beliefs and attitudes. Two people who are sharing a similar emotion will tend to mirror each other’s gestures and postures. When you intentionally mirror the body language of the person you are talking to, you create an unconscious assumption in the other person that you agree with them and are “in sync” with what they are saying. This creates a positive feeling for you.

Another benefit is that the effect also works in reverse. When you mirror an interviewer, manager or colleague’s body language, you come to experience the same emotions he or she is experiencing, thus deepening the unconscious bond between you. If you both are seated, sit at a slight angle from the individual so you both aren’t directly facing each other, which can get uncomfortable. You’ll also want to make sure to situate yourself at a comfortable speaking distance from him or her.

The key to using mirroring in a professional conversation is to avoid crossing the line into mimicry. Your mirroring should be a sincere expression of the fact you are in agreement and share similar thoughts on a subject. When used well, mirroring rapidly creates a sense of rapport between you and an interviewer.

Hand Gestures Facilitate Convincing Speech

Many of us are prone to fidget when we’re nervous. We may play with our hair, click on a pen or crack our knuckles. Nervousness also shows in our speech with the “um’s” and “uh’s” we insert without thinking about them.

Incorporating hand gestures into your speech not only gives you something productive to do with your hands, but it also facilitates the area of the brain responsible for speech. This helps eliminate many of the empty filler words we say while searching for the right phrase to say.

Make sure your gestures aren’t wild. Keep your hands close to your body and don’t overuse them in conversation. When the other person is talking, place your hands flat on the desk or in your lap if you have a tendency to fidget.

Finally, don’t overuse gestures, or rely on them as a substitute for having something useful to say. In general, making positive use of body language opens up a new channel of communication to convey positive feelings, create rapport and build professional relationships.

Body Language Tips: What NOT to Do

Now that you have ideas on how to carry yourself in a business environment, please peruse the following infographic for body language habits to avoid in interviews and other professional conversations. The infographic comes courtesy of The Website Group and Swiss Canadian Capital.

Business Etiquette And Body Language Blunders – Infographic

Read How Rudeness in the Workplace Can Sabotage Company Culture

See the Consequences of Workplace Incivility

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