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7 Elements to Look for in an Evolving Marketing Agency – and How to Avoid Being Left Behind

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Futuristic Evolving Marketing Agency - Eminent SEO

Marketing practices have dramatically evolved over the years, and it looks like changes within this industry are not slowing down any time soon. The boom of the internet has rapidly altered the way we target niche audiences, which means that expectations for marketing agencies have shifted. Clients are expecting a much more symbiotic relationship in which the marketing agency is held accountable for its actions, or inaction.

Building Trust is Key!

Key Icon Orange - Eminent SEOWhen perusing the internet for a specific need, customers support the companies they feel are transparent and which have a simple and effective solution for their dilemma. The same idea applies when shopping for a marketing agency to boost a company’s online presence.

You want your marketing firm to show transparency and point out any inefficiencies in your current tactics or approach. Gone are the days of simply clocking hours and sending an invoice. Clients are looking for creativity, speed and efficiency, as well as an agency that can be proactive rather than trying to keep it “business as usual.”

Just Keep It Simple

With so many new technologies to track demographics, results, etc., marketers will have to take the initiative and become proficient in these programs and software to alleviate client stress. There’s just too much for the average client to keep up with. By becoming the expert, marketers are able to simplify the tasks of the client to save them time and labor dollars, as well as the stress of trying to learn new programs.

Pricing Structure and Effectiveness

Moving forward, evolving marketing agencies are beginning to get hip to the idea of pricing based on effectiveness rather than productivity. Clients now are looking for outside-the-box thinking and proactivity in their campaigns, and many of these tactics aren’t “billable.”

It’s easy to track time spent, projects completed, dollars per hour, etc., but how exactly do you bill a suggestion to change a strategy or creativity? Well, agencies sure are figuring this out if they want to stay relevant!

What About Content Marketing?

Content marketing has evolved and become much more intuitive and niched. Advances in technology have allowed this new generation of marketing to move at lightning speed to rival the shortened attention spans of millennial users.

Content marketing isn’t as simple and direct as it has been in the past. Marketers now have the ability to actually reach out to their demographic of consumers with features like geo-fencing and push notifications. This type of proactive and intuitive marketing allows businesses to gain more traffic by identifying their customers and sending them valuable content, rather than waiting to be searched for.

The Rise of Technology in Content Marketing

The rapid and relatively recent explosion of technology continues to challenge marketing agencies to improve their strategies by providing immediate feedback, tracking and general analysis of websites and content. Since a major goal of content marketing is to generate interest in and traffic on a particular website, simply tracking final sales would be an inaccurate and incomplete measure of success.

Evolving marketing agencies need to look for programs and software that provide enough information to be able to shift tactics in a reasonable time frame, so that they avoid investing time and money into a failing venture.

How Does an Evolving Marketing Agency Measure the Value of Its Content?

Measuring Tape Icon Orange - Eminent SEOThis is a tough question to answer since there isn’t a clear distinction between digital and traditional marketing anymore. Compelling content isn’t as simple and straightforward as it used to be. It isn’t just informational; it’s personal. It requires much more creativity and must possess an empathetic tone to customers.

Keep in mind, however, that the same blueprint cannot and will not work the same for each business. This is why it is imperative for agencies to invest in content creation and stop thinking of it as an expense.

The need for journalists with strong PR backgrounds is also on the rise. This particular skill-set is essential in creating the right type of content to generate “clicks.” The initial investment in this type of content has the potential to drum up business for years to come.

The Blurred Lines of Media Convergence

Another development that evolving marketing agencies need to keep their eyes on is the convergence of media platforms. This means that several current platforms will eventually blend into a single digital form. As this happens, content will become more diversified and the quality and value at which it is produced will increase.

The downside, however, is that as information becomes streamlined, many demographics will become underrepresented and unheard from. Those controlling the technology driven industry run the risk of losing potential customers when content is no longer relevant to diverse markets.

The Business-to-Business Element

As if the marketing game hasn’t changed enough, another element to consider is B2B, or business-to-business marketing. Creating value is the name of the game. Many companies are beginning to understand that other businesses are a huge source of revenue for them. However, some are now realizing they can’t market to a business the same way they market to an individual consumer.

B2B marketing promotes the sale of goods and services to other businesses in a way that adds value to the prospective client’s practices. The trick is to market in such a way that a business that purchases your product becomes willing to endorse your name. You have to make it clear what’s in it for them.

The Change Is Here

Max Monster Looking Out To Future - Eminent SEOThe content marketing arena has proven to be an aggressive force in redefining the slowly dying career track of journalism. Subsequently, evolving marketing agencies are currently paving the way for the future of their industry by quickly adapting to the technological advances in our ever-advancing digital world. Companies must be able to understand how their audiences are receiving and responding to their messages, so they must hire agencies that can provide compelling and creative avenues to reach a range of consumers.

The expectation of marketing agencies is changing, as are the litany of challenges they face in staying ahead of their competition. These agencies are required to be much more transparent and show more empathy toward potential clients. Evolving marketing firms are learning to get out of the driver’s seat and instead walk hand-in-hand with their clients. The relationship is changing, but if agencies and their clients can learn to meet in the middle, the result will be a new and satisfied customer – which is the greatest result of all.

Looking for a marketing agency that offers customized solutions for your needs and meticulously tracks all results while maintaining the utmost transparency? Talk to Eminent SEO today at 800.871.4130.

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Google’s Message Is Clear: Review and Clean Up Your Website’s Outbound Links

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Sweep Bad Outbound Links Under Rug - Eminent SEO

Earlier this month, several reports stated that Google started issuing a specific warning to various webmasters. The message hit at one miscue: “unnatural” outbound links.

Google reportedly first started sending this message out on Saturday, April 9, via email and Google Search Console. While it probably took some webmasters aback, others likely knew they had it coming.

In either scenario, the webmaster is going to have to make some clear changes before submitting a “reconsideration request” to Google in order to get his or her rankings back.

Let’s look further at the heart of the issue plus what the best practices are when it comes to outbound linking.

What the Outbound Link Warning Said

Google warned certain webmasters that it detected a “pattern” of outbound links that is “either unnatural or irrelevant,” violating the search engine’s Webmaster Guidelines. Therefore, the search engine applied a “manual spam action” to the website in question.

Google added that the unnatural links it detected appear to be trying to “artificially boost” other sites’ search engine rankings. Basically, to Google, it looked like the sites that were flagged were trying to pass so-called link juice to other websites, among other suspicious practices.

How Webmasters Were Directed to Fix It

Google’s stern warning about outbound links was essentially a penalty upon the sites that were flagged. Receiving a penalty either hurts a website’s search rankings or kills them altogether. The penalty won’t be lifted until Google does a manual review of the site.

For the websites that received this latest warning, the webmasters behind them were directed to either manually remove the links in question or add “nofollow” tags to each one. The piece of code for asking search engine crawlers to not follow a link, if you’re wondering, is rel=”nofollow”. Once the webmaster has sufficiently addressed the outbound linking issue, Google advised sending a reconsideration request.

What Is an Outbound Link?

Just to be clear about what an outbound link is, it’s any clickable link that takes the user to an external website, which is why it’s also called an external link.

In today’s SEO climate, it’s recommended to be very judicious about how frequently you include an outbound link on your website. Any link (internal or external) that you don’t add “nofollow” to will be taken into account by search engine crawlers, making it a “dofollow” link, effectively.

If you’re linking to a low-quality website, a dofollow link could actually hurt your SEO value. Also, too many links (whether internal or external) could lower the search rankings potential of that particular webpage. Therefore, it’s best to use nofollow tags every so often when you’ve got a webpage with an abundance of links and/or if you’re linking to sites with low domain authority.

When Google issues a manual spam action on a website, it can apply to either a site-wide match or a partial match. A site-wide match means Google detected an issue on every page of a website, likely in a sidebar, the header or the footer. A partial match means the issue applied to just a single webpage or a certain set of pages on the site in question.

How Certain Websites Ran into This Issue

For quite some time, a common website practice was to link to several other websites either through text or images placed on a sidebar or in the footer of a page. Granted, this was never an SEO best practice, but some webmasters did this either as a partnership with other websites or because they simply liked those sites and wanted to give a subtle shout-out to them.

These type of links could often be paid for as kind of a one-way means of drawing some SEO power from an authoritative website. In other cases, the two sites linked to each other in a type of affiliate marketing scheme.

Today, this practice is going by the wayside, and Google may have just delivered it its final blow with the recent penalization of sites with unnatural outbound links. For a good example, let’s look at the website behind the screenshot that seemingly every media site is featuring when reporting on Google’s outbound link warning: SammiTheBeautyBuff.com.

Sammi The Beauty Buff Homepage - ESEO

While nothing looks amiss when you first land on the homepage, if you scroll just a little ways down, you’ll see a right sidebar that features several logos that link to other websites – all under a section called “Memberships.” Inside each review, there are also several product links (or that may have been for undisclosed free samples – but more on that point later). At first glance, this area may be what earned the website a penalty from Google.

Sammi The Beauty Buff Membership Links - ESEO

The webmaster of this beauty products blog must have gotten the message, because if you dig into the source code of the homepage, these are all nofollow links. If they weren’t before, they are now.

Say Goodbye to Blogrolls

If you used WordPress to create a personal blog in the past, you were practically encouraged to add a blogroll to your site. Also known as a links menu, a blogroll is a way to list other blogs and sites you find valuable or that are relevant to your specific blog. The blogroll can be easily added using a widget in WordPress, and it will show up in the footer or sidebar of your blog or website, depending on the theme you use.

Here’s an example of a blogroll in somebody’s sidebar, without calling out the site that is using it:

Wordpress Blogroll Example - ESEO

WordPress itself still has a support page that talks all about the blogroll, but given the direction of Google’s search algorithm, it’s likely this feature is going to be de-emphasized or abandoned in the near future.

WordPress is far from the only content management system or website builder that features a blogroll option. But, no matter which content management system you use, a blogroll or links menu is a feature you’re going to want to ignore going forward – if you care at all about search rankings.

A More Recent Development: Penalties for Exchanging Links for Free Products

After Google started issuing outbound link warnings, the tech giant eventually clarified why it was handing out penalties. According to Search Engine Land, the penalty appeared to be targeting free product reviews. This is because companies that provide product reviewers free merchandise are often looking for a dofollow link from the reviewer’s website to theirs.

So, Google has effectively put the kibosh on this practice. Can product reviewers still receive free stuff and write about it on their blog or website? Certainly. Google just asks that they disclose when they receive free items and then nofollow any links to the company that provided the product. This explains why the aforementioned Sammi “The Beauty Buff” was called out by Google earlier this month.

If, in fact, only free product reviews were the target of Google’s recent penalties, then most of these penalties would likely be classified as partial matches. An individual product review is generally going to take up only one webpage, rather than resulting in a site-wide external link just for the free item(s) provided.

Did Google’s Recent Warning Apply to Inbound Links?

Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land reported that he only saw a “few inbound link notification penalties” on the weekend when Google started warning certain webmasters of unnatural outbound links.

So, for the most part, websites weren’t getting penalized for having another site link to them, no matter how spammy or irrelevant the backlink appears to be. Instead, the sites hosting such a suspicious link are the ones that primarily landed on Google’s radar.

What to Do About Your Outbound Links

Even if you’re not a product reviewer, now is as good a time as any to review your website’s outbound links, since Google will certainly continue to target suspicious linking practices.

If your website has a static, site-wide sidebar, are there any external links featured? You can ask the same about the footer. It’s time to nofollow those links or contemplate if they even need to be there in the first place.

Other than those areas, you can also go through some of the individual pages of the site and the blog to see if there’s any area where someone happened to link to a plethora of external sites. You need to go in and nofollow most of those links, if they aren’t already, and consider if each and every link is even helpful for the user in the first place. If not, remove as necessary.

If your website has a partnership with another in the form of a dofollow site-wide link to theirs, tell them that current SEO best practices call for you to get rid of the link. Or, perhaps, you can compromise with them and turn it into a nofollow link – and maybe decrease the number of pages it shows up on.

Are ‘Nofollow’ Links Still Helpful?

Perhaps your site has scored a link on an authoritative website, but their webmaster wants to remove it in light of recent SEO events. See if they can just nofollow the link to your site instead.

Yes, the link juice goes away when someone adds a nofollow tag, but that doesn’t mean the link can’t still have value in a different way. If the hosting site draws tons and tons of visitors, some of them are eventually going to see and click the link to your domain, resulting in increased traffic for you. The number of clicks on your link per visitor is probably going to be pretty small, but it’s still better to give them that option than to not have it there at all, right?

But What if I’m Linking Back and Forth Between Several Interconnected Sites?

If you have a main website and a few microsites, or just several “sister” sites, it doesn’t hurt to feature links to all related sites in the footer of each one of the properties. Google is pretty savvy at understanding when sites are related. You don’t even have to nofollow the links in this case.

However, if we’re talking about dozens of websites, no matter how well they go together, you should avoid interlinking them, even with nofollow tags. In a 2014 Search Engine Watch article, Google engineer and video personality Matt Cutts was quoted as recommending only up to five links in the footer to other related websites. He added that if you operate 50 to 100 related websites and are thinking about interlinking them all, don’t do it – or, at best, only link to the four or five most relevant sister sites.

Internal and External Linking Strategies with Eminent SEO

Need help with evaluating which links to remove from your site and then actually getting it done? Eminent SEO can clean up not only your outbound linking strategy, but we can optimize your site’s internal linking strategy as well. We also can remove and disavow spammy or low-quality links that lead to your site, as well as help you recover from any search engine penalties you may have suffered.

We have been helping clients with their internal and outbound linking strategies for more than 11 years, and we’ve been updating our processes with every step of Google’s evolution. To learn more about optimizing your website with proper linking practices, contact Eminent SEO today at 800.871.4130.

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The Differing Strategies of B2C and B2B Sales and Marketing

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Differences Between B2B And B2C Companies - ESEO
A sale is a sale. You may have different ways of getting there, but as long as you make the intended sale, the means of getting there hardly matter, right?

Well, if you’d like to consistently make more of those sales, understanding your target market and the best strategies to employ are going to be imperative. First of all, are you hoping to sell a specific product or service to another business, or is your product for mass consumption? In other words, are you in a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) organization?

If you’re not sure, you’d better figure it out pretty quickly. But, you probably do know, so let’s get deeper into the differences between the two outlooks. Keep reading to find out how the strategies of B2B and B2C companies differ when it comes to marketing and ultimately making a sale.

The Target Markets of B2C and B2B Companies

B2B-oriented companies usually boast a specific offering or set of offerings, and, therefore, they tend to have a narrow, highly targeted audience. For example, a company that produces large medical machinery will likely target hospitals and perhaps some private practices. There’s no reason a business of this sort would market to individual consumers, who would have no need for these appliances at home.

B2C businesses, however, usually market to a large audience of individual consumers. While there are ways to home in on a more-focused audience, these companies generally have to market in a way that has mass appeal. Some companies design products with a specific end user in mind, while others churn out products that are really for anybody and everybody. Whichever type of business it is, it’s all about making that sale and keeping revenue coming in.

The Logical Vs. Emotional Appeal

Although B2B and B2C companies both want to offer a product that solves a customer’s problem, the paths they take to get there are often very dissimilar. When it comes to B2B sales, companies generally make a logical appeal to try to sell to other businesses. These organizations put more time into building relationships and providing educational resources, hoping those efforts will elicit a sale. B2B firms tend to offer products or services that are more complex and expensive than what B2C companies provide, but the former group must spend more time educating prospective clients how the product can help their business.

A prime example of how to market a B2B business is the social media agency Social Quant, which actually focuses exclusively on Twitter. Many businesses are on Twitter, but many businesses don’t know how to use Twitter, especially when it comes to building a high-quality following. That’s where Social Quant comes in.

The Twitter-focused agency doesn’t spend all of its time making a pitch for its services, though. Its blog posts and eBooks offer innumerable tips on how to use Twitter, which any user (business or individual) can benefit from. Ultimately, Social Quant is educating the public and building up a certain level of trust that will eventually lead to a few businesses inquiring about social media help. The company’s useful advice is available to anyone, but when it comes time to who’s going to pay their bills, it’s other businesses who have taken the relationship one step further.

Meanwhile, B2C businesses generally don’t spend as much time schmoozing a client and building a relationship prior to the initial sale. Instead, the marketing departments of B2C companies often make an emotional appeal to consumers, hoping that their products provide some kind of instant gratification to the buyer. Building a relationship in this case consists of offering a trustworthy product that consumers buy over and over, or on which they stock up at one time. B2C companies need to focus on providing great customer service, concise education and special deals so they can flourish and earn repeat business.

Check out the emotional appeal and attention-grabbing strategies at work in a commercial released earlier this year by a B2C company, Hefty.


Similar to Super Bowl commercials, the concept of this ad has just a faint connection to the product being peddled, but Hefty has successfully grabbed the viewer’s full attention while helping build brand recognition. They’re probably hoping that you’ll equate the quality of the commercial to the quality of their products. This type of ad should appeal to a wide age range, as well. Next time you’re in the grocery store, you may just opt to buy some Hefty plastic cups over those ubiquitous red Solo cups, and Hefty’s hilarious commercial may have something to do with it, overtly or subliminally.

Differing Sales Cycles

As a rule of thumb, B2C companies operate on a short sales cycle. They need to catch a consumer’s eye and perhaps provide a quick bit of education prior to the point of purchase. Additionally, if they want repeat buyers, they’d better offer a product that the customer enjoys. For example, if a company makes an all-natural food products that sits on a shelf in the store next to similar items, that company needs to have packaging and even some quick literature (such as, “Why is all-natural better?”) that piques the buyer’s interest. Most consumers make purchases from B2C-oriented companies every week, even daily, and many of them are made with little prior research, if not on a whim.

On the other hand, B2B organizations operate on a long sales cycle, sometimes taking several months before turning a lead into a sale. In these situations, businesses have to be vigilant in nurturing a relationship through the entirety of the sales cycle, building brand loyalty along the way. From initial engagement to the point of purchase, B2B companies need to continually educate and hold a lead’s interest, making sure the prospect doesn’t develop cold feet or disillusionment with the process prior to the final sell.

In Conclusion

No matter if you work in a B2B or B2C company, you must start to develop an idea on your ideal buyer, how long it typically takes to make the sale and what motivates the buyer to purchase from you. There is some crossover between the two types of companies, and some businesses do a little bit of both (selling to individual consumers and other businesses), but any organization ultimately will thrive if it understands its audience and figures out how to market to them accordingly. For any skilled marketer making a job move, the transition from a B2B firm to a B2C company (or vice-versa) probably shouldn’t be too difficult, but there certainly are separate techniques to master, and it’s best to know the differences ahead of time.

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Vol. 46: Google Local Pack Takes Over Top Spot, Best of ESEO’s August Social Media and Blog Posts

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Google Local - Eminent SEOWhat’s New in SEO: Google Keeps the Top Spot to Itself in Local Search

Early in August, Google implemented a fairly big shakeup in its search results by making its “local pack” more exclusive, as we explained on our Eminent SEO blog. More information about the local search feature has come down the pike since. Not only are there now only three spots in the local pack, but the box is featured in the first or second spot of the non-paid results much more often than it used to be, essentially meaning Google-approved businesses will always show up before any other.

A new report by seoClarity says the old local 7-pack only used to appear in the number one slot of the search results 25 percent of the time. However, the results box has been showing up in very top spot 93 percent of the time ever since shrinking to three featured businesses. Moreso, the local pack now shows up either in the first or second spot 99 percent of the time, versus just 31 percent before the change-up. The move to a 3-pack means there is more territory on the first page of results for organic listings, but it appears they all will almost always fall below the local pack now. For more on the eye-opening study, see seoClarity’s report.

August Eminent SEO Social Media Roundup

Max and Meg found themselves in various new situations as part of our social media outreach in August, including partaking in a popular meme near the beginning of the month. We also kept it light with some humorous posts and we shared a photo of our great team lunch at Olive Garden. Take a look at the best posts from our social media accounts in August. Which one is your favorite?

Apple Strengthening My Core - ESEOMax Mustache You A Question - Eminent SEOMax Straight Outta Google - Eminent SEOLife Is Sweet Meg - Ice Cream - Eminent Social MediaChildhood Memory Not Paying Bills - Eminent SEODerplicate Content Meme - ESEO Tweet48 Percent of Mobile Users - Eminent SEOChuck Norris Approved - ESM TweetIts Fry Day - Eminent SEOEminent SEO Team Lunch At Olive Garden

August Marketing Blog Roundup

We took our blog efforts up another notch in August, sharing timely information and tips on topics such as SEO, social media and branding on our Eminent family of blogs. Below, check out the top posts we published in August, including the aforementioned in-depth look at Google’s move to a smaller Local Pack. For more marketing and SEO news, how-to’s and tips, we invite you to follow our Eminent SEO blog.

Google Reduces 7-Pack in Search to 3-Pack: What This Means for Local Businesses

Early in August, Google somewhat quietly shrank its renowned 7-pack in local searches to a 3-pack. While that means more competition for local businesses to earn one of those three spots, it does open up some opportunities on the first page of local search results. Read about how businesses with a local focus can take advantage of this shakeup.

Top 10 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Maximize Organic Traffic and Sales

If you have a hand in an ecommerce site, read these 10 crucial tips for help on getting your website to begin to shine in the search results, which will help you gain more traffic and, ultimately, more sales. Who wouldn’t want that?

Why You Should Avoid Buying Followers on Twitter and Other Social Media Platforms

When it comes to boosting your social media presence by buying followers on Twitter or other platforms, just say no! For one, there are tools on the web where anyone can look up your account and see how many fake followers you have. For other reasons why you should abstain from buying subscribers, check out this post.

How Do You Develop a Brand Strategy?

Have you figured out what sets your business apart from the competition and who your targeted customers are? If not, it’s time to get started on developing a brand strategy. See this post for some tips to keep in mind as you’re building a strategy for your company.

Featured Service: Website Blogging

Many clients do not realize how important blogging is to the overall health of a strategic website marketing campaign. When done properly, optimized blogs can dramatically increase the authority of your website. Why? Google loves to see fresh, relevant content. It tells them you care about your visitors and want to provide them with the latest and greatest information you have to offer. Because Google wants to provide its users with up-to-date information, it will give a higher ranking to sites that add optimized, unique and relevant content more often.

77 Percent Users Read Blogs - Eminent SEO

Since blogging is such an important part of organic marketing, why would you let an amateur handle it? Leave the blogging to the pros and watch the traffic and conversions come in.

Visit our Website Blogging Services page to learn more. Or, call now to speak with one of our experts: 800.871.4130.

Until next time, see ya online!

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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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How To Use Twitter For Your Business Without Sounding Spammy

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twitter businessYou’ve wanted to use Twitter for your company, or maybe you’ve already established an account, but if you’re a small- or medium-sized business, you’re probably having trouble gaining interaction or any ROI on the social media platform.

Heck, even many large corporations have trouble getting many Twitter users to care about what they’re tweeting. But if you are trying to use Twitter to generate sales, leads, or interest in your brand, there is some light at the end of the tunnel: Research shows there are reasons why your company should be active on Twitter, and that the proper strategy can help you succeed on the platform.

Why Should My Business Be On Twitter?

You might think of LinkedIn as the place to put on your proverbial sport coat and start making a sales pitch, but a recent Forbes study found there’s a better place to do it. Twitter has emerged as the No. 1 platform for sales prospecting, edging out LinkedIn and Facebook, respectively, according to Forbes’ research. Jill Rowley, a startup adviser, told Forbes she learns more about a buyer on Twitter than LinkedIn – whom they follow, who follows them and what they tweet about and retweet.

How A Business Should Tweet

First and foremost, businesses should aim to be engaging on Twitter and ready to interact with any user who shows genuine interest. Small Business Trends advises companies to be personable on the micro-blogging platform. For example, if one of your colleagues is celebrating a birthday, or if your team is gathered at a recognizable venue, a tweet or two with photos of the event goes a long way in peeling back the curtain to your company and showing Twitter users you’re relatable.

However, don’t be too personal on your Twitter timeline. The Twitterverse is sort of a buttoned-down place where business can be conducted, but sharing a little TMI will almost always have an adverse effect.

As far as volume of tweets, a new Hootsuite blog post recommended not to tweet too much, and not to tweet too little. Posting several tweets subsequently that don’t build on each other is a great way to turn some of your followers off. Conversely, tweeting too little will make users bored with your brand and will reflect how little commitment you have to the platform.

It is okay to send the same tweet more than once, particularly if you have an ongoing campaign you’re trying to draw attention to, but tweak the copy or attach a different picture so it looks different each time, and don’t post the same idea more than once or twice day. Also, make sure to post a variety of tweets in between the ongoing message you’re trying to deliver. And for the best times to tweet, a Hootsuite blog post last year said many studies point to 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m., but it may be beneficial for your company to post in the evening, as well. Just consider whether your business goes for a national or local audience, and if it’s the latter.

What A Business Should Tweet

Your business Twitter account should reflect your expertise in your field. Apart from the tips and industry knowledge you possess that can be shared on the platform, feel free to share links to recent publications on topics related to your field. Your Twitter followers will appreciate the insight, even if it didn’t come from in house.

A recent Twitter blog post recommended adding value to the products you offer, such as how to use the items in ways consumers probably never thought of before. Also, invite Twitter followers into a community; tell them what you tweet about, what customers you serve and what kind of incentives they might expect. That leads us to highlighting exclusive prizes and giveaways. There’s no greater way to draw in some potential customers than to tweet about giveaways, promotions, deals and contests you’re running. Additionally, remember to include a call to action in several of your tweets. Simply saying “follow us” and including a compelling reason why can go a long way.

And most of all, remember: photos, photos, photos. Try to include photos in as many tweets as possible. Mashable reported in 2013 that tweets with photos that can be instantly seen in a user’s newsfeed (e.g. not Instagram links) garner 94 percent more retweets than text-only posts. Food photos tend to do well, as do pictures of recognizable landmarks or destinations. Memes are also acceptable to include in your tweets, provided you can make a relevant connection and not choose something that might offend your followers. As long as you have rights to whichever photos you want to tweet, go ahead and post them and make sure the text of each tweet logically ties into the image.

Closing Thoughts

Don’t sound like a soulless robot in your tweets, and be engaging on the platform and ready to react to your followers or what other leaders in your industry have to say. If you’re mentioned in a tweet or asked a question, be sure to respond to it! Also, try to follow back anyone who has just followed you, as long as their account looks legitimate.

Not every tweet from your business’ account has to make a sales pitch, but such posts will be more effective as long as you are engaging and expanding your audience with a steady stream of compelling content and commentary.

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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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Top Red Flags to Watch Out for When Hiring an SEO Agency

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Local Marketing

There are a lot of deceitful SEO agencies out there that try manipulate companies into thinking their strategies are completely “white hat”, meaning they’re up to par with Google’s quality guidelines. However, that’s not always the case. A lot of SEO agencies have given the SEO industry a bad reputation because of how they make unrealistic promises and perform spammy SEO tactics just to win your money. How can you tell if an SEO agency is legit?

Below are some red flags to help you determine if an agency is legit or not:

#1 Rankings Guaranteed

For one, no company can ever guarantee any sort of rankings. If a company is saying that they can guarantee you to the top of Google, don’t hire them. I mean what company out there can control Google, besides Google themselves? My point exactly.

Not Looking at Your Website and Marketing as a Whole

Truth is, SEO is much more than backlinks and on-page optimization. It’s content marketing, branding, social media, and design all working cohesively to create a solid reputation and brand presence on the web. If an SEO agency says that you only need backlinks and on-page SEO, you should be concerned.

Any legitimate agency is going to request an initial audit up front if you have an established website. That way they can assess your current website and marketing strategies including existing backlinks, your website structure, content, reputation, etc. Any challenges should be clearly laid out before any SEO or marketing even begins. For example, let’s say you have a foundation for organic presence, but you’re losing users once they hit the website. The SEO agency should point this out in the audit and then in the strategy suggest you restructure and properly optimize the pages of the site that are losing those potential leads.

Focuses Quantity Over Quality Backlinks

Red flag for sure. It may have worked back in 2011, but since Penguin released, it’s extremely hard to rank organically when you have even a small amount of backlinks that aren’t even relevant to your brand. If part of the strategy is saying that you will receive 1,000+ backlinks in a short time frame, chances are they aren’t going to be quality links.

There’s really no way to guarantee a specific amount of links as every link is different. Ideally you’d have a combination of brand mentions, social signals, press releases, directory listings, etc. that all serve an individual purposes. Any company that’s offering you a specific number of a specific type of links, for example200 directory links in one month, is most likely still practicing outdated techniques that are now considered spammy.

What you want to look out for is a company that’s promising quality, not specific link types and quantities. Realistically a company can’t guarantee any links because they want your backlink profile to be as natural as possible. So, when the agency is flexible with the budget and says they can’t always guarantee a certain amount of links that month, but they will use the budget to create a blog post or something relative to your services, that is actually more ideal.

Fails to Mention Anything Regarding Social Media

If building your brand is primarily done online, why is social media not part of the SEO strategy? Like I said before, SEO is much more than building links and having keywords in your content, it’s building your brand online. Social media plays a major factor in building brand awareness. Social signals are also a key ranking factor in most algorithms. So, if this part is completely ignored by the agency, chances are they are overlooking an important part of any effective SEO strategy.

Fails to Mention Anything Regarding Technical SEO

Professional SEO agencies are advanced in technical SEO and understand what search engines need to see in order to easily crawl and index pages. The list can go on but it would include some of the following elements to really ensure your website is technically correct for SEO:

  • Website navigation is siloed properly
  • 404 errors are reduced by 301 redirecting broken links
  • Duplicate content is found and eliminated
  • Any HTML code warnings that are causing pages not to be indexed are found and fixed
  • Site loading speed is reviewed and issues are addressed to speed it up if needed

Bottom line, your website needs to be set up properly in order to achieve your organic ranking goals. These are just a touch on the technical issues that can go wrong with a website and prevent the crawlers to index your pages properly. Another reason why you can see SEO is more than just content and links!

In Conclusion

You want to make sure you’re hiring the best of the best right? If any of the red flags mentioned above come up when you’re looking over a proposal or speaking with a consultant, you might want to do more research on them in order to fully trust they know what they are doing and not just taking your money. Some questions to consider may be:

  • Does their website appear to be SEO friendly and mobile ready?
  • Do they have a strong brand and social media presence for their company?
  • Are they blogging and is their content high in quality?
  • Are they able to talk technically on the phone and point out issues that need to be addressed on the fly?
  • Can they address the other items outlined above?

Those are some things I would be asking myself if I was shopping around for the perfect SEO agency. However, why even look any further? You are already in the right place – our team has your back! We offer both consulting and professional SEO services with over 20 years of combined experience. Check out our services here!

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Team Eminent SEO

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 Joint Commission Badge Equals Trust for your Website

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Once a health care provider is accredited by The Joint CommissionThe Joint Commission Badge one of the benefits is the provider will be able to proudly display the Joint Commission badge on their website. Not just any business can get a Joint Commission badge it has to be earned. There are several criteria that have to be met to earn the Joint Commission distinction.

The value of being accredited by a third party like The Joint Commission is that there are experts who provide impartial evaluations on the quality of care, treatment and services that the treatment center is providing. Because the patient or the patient’s family don’t purchase this type of healthcare like they do food or clothes it helps having experts do the evaluation on the center so the families don’t have to.

In providing badges or trust icons it immediately tells the user that they are not just on any old website they are on a professional services authority website. The people behind the business have put in their training and expertise to earn the badges. At the end of the day we know that the trust icons help convert visit to call ratios.

In the addiction treatment field having several supporting trust icons especially from places like The Joint Commission and HON Code it will only help boost your position of authority to the website visitor. Being a direct marketing professional I can tell you that the single biggest converting factors for any business online or offline is TRUST.

Think about it for a minute, if you are searching for a drug rehab for a family member and had to review a bunch of websites, would you rather read some marketing copy from the treatment center’s marketing team or would you rather know that they have 3rd party validation from places like The Joint Commission or testimonials from past clients/patients singing their praises?

Bottom line: If you are in the Health Care space you should become accredited by The Joint Commission and proudly display the badge on your site for improved trust which leads to better website conversions.

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Vol. 16: Oh Look, It’s 2013 – What Are Your Company’s New Year’s Resolutions?

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Max-monster-new-yearsHoly cow, is it 2013 already?!? 
As Team Eminent SEO moves into 2013, we look back at the last year and reflect on what we did well, what we struggled with and what needs to change.

Jenny Stradling, our CEO, wrote a blog post related to an internal survey she conducted to get the team involved on making improvements going into the new year. She mentions in the post how important feedback from your team is, “I think that in order to have an effective team and productive teamwork, you have to continually get feedback, have group and individual discussions and integrate team ideas wherever possible.”

You can read the full post here: Why Teamwork is Important and Why We (Eminent SEO) Love Our Work

Business New Year’s Resolution

We all make personal resolutions at this time of year – resolving to finally go on that diet or hit the gym regularly, perhaps you want to travel, quit smoking, spend more time with your kids… all good, positive goals. But what about your company resolutions? Perhaps you have a company vision and maybe you even have a detailed mission statement that breaks down exactly where you want to take your company this year. Or, maybe you don’t.

Someone smart once said “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.Think about it. If you are looking to market a new product, raise awareness for your brand, dramatically improve company revenues… it’s not enough to have the vision, you have to have a plan.

First, you have to know what you want – be specific. Saying “I want to make more money” isn’t enough. You need to detail out exactly what you want. Think it through. Write it down.

Second, you have to develop a strategy that you can put into motion. How else are you going to get what you want? It would be nice if what we wanted simply fell into our laps, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. If you want to achieve a specific goal, you have to have a solid plan.

Third, put that plan into motion. If you aren’t sure how to reach your goals, reach out – have a team meeting, discuss your plan with the members of your company or others that you trust. Or, reach out for expert help. If you know what you need to do but don’t have the time, know how or in-house staff – hire someone who does!

Forth, start, implement, track and adjust. Knowing what you want, developing and plan and putting it into motion is a nice start – but even the best business strategy can fail. External sources can interfere, life can get in the way – don’t worry! It’s important to remain open minded and flexible. Keep an eye on what is happening and if something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change course!

Is SEO on Your “To Do” List this Year?

Website_Checklist.1Well if it isn’t, it should be. SEO is an important part of any online marketing strategy. If you think SEO is dead, well you are wrong. Read more on why SEO will never die and get some free tips on how to do SEO the right way here:Why SEO is Not Dead

Grow Your Business in 2013

We hope that you’re enjoying your new year so far! If you are looking for expert help in growing your business in 2013, give us a call (800) 871.4130– we develop custom business marketing strategies that increase revenues and exceed your goals.

Connect with us!

You can pretty much find us everywhere (right now we are SUPER excited about Pinterest), so be sure to connect with us on your favorite social media site… Let’s get social, it’s fun!

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Team Eminent SEO

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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