Tag Archives: Strategy Advice

New Addiction Treatment Certification Allows Rehabs to Bid on AdWords Again

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Several of our addiction treatment center clients here at Eminent SEO, and those of our partner Addiction-Rep.com, have asked us about this news: “Exclusive: Google unveils vetting process for drug rehab ads.”

So far, there have been several direct questions that stem from this article, so here I will attempt to answer all of these questions. In addition, I will give some suggestions and professional insight, being that Eminent SEO is an agency that works with several addiction treatment centers and behavioral health care consultants.

Question 1: Does this mean we can bid on Google AdWords again?

Yes, kind of. Google did announce it will allow treatment centers to run ads after they have been vetted by Portland, Oregon firm LegitScript.

However, don’t expect this to happen overnight. In a new article posted this week, “LegitScript’s New Certification Program for Addiction Treatment Providers Will Help Those Most Vulnerable,” LegitScript included an important note:

“During the first three months, we’re going to intentionally take it slow. Irrespective of how many applications we receive, we’ll probably only certify about 20 to 30, simply so that we can make sure and get the process right. After that, we’ll ramp up the speed. (This goes into the “lessons learned” bucket from our existing healthcare merchant certification program.) This also works well with Google’s timeline, since they have indicated they will actually begin allowing these advertisers in July.”

Question 2: What does it take to get the addiction treatment certification?

The LegitScript website says the company is now accepting applications and that the evaluation includes criminal background checks as well as license and insurance verification. Rehabs will also have to provide “written policies and procedures demonstrating a commitment to best practices, effective recovery and continuous improvement.”

They will charge $995 up front and then $1,995 annually for the vetting.

You can see the full LegitScript Addiction Treatment Provider Certification Standards here. They are not messing around. If you want to get approved, better read this first.

Question 3: What does this change for rehabs?

Up until recently, treatment centers could buy Google ads without a certification. However, over the last few years, Google has been rolling out a new vetting process for certain industries that will only allow entities to bid once they get the certification.

Before this announcement, the certification process only applied to garage-door repair techs, locksmiths, pharmacies and prescription drug providers. Now you can add addiction treatment centers to that list. From the LegitScript article, it sounds like Google will also be asking for more documentation from political advertisers soon this year as well (thank God).

Question 4: Does this LegitScript company manage the ads?

No. This is a qualification process, but the company will not be managing the ads. What LegitScript does is verify you meet the criteria and then provide a legal certificate to Google as proof. You would still need to have a professional Google PPC expert run your ads.

So, this cost is in addition to the ad management, and apparently required if you want to do Google ads in the future.

Question 5: How much will Google ads cost now?

This is still yet to be determined. Before the Google rehab keyword crackdown, the ad rates were out of control. Keywords were going for $50 to $150 a click sometimes. It was crazy!

Since the rollout doesn’t come until July, all we can do is speculate. And since LegitScript is only certifying up to 30 applicants, I can’t imagine there will be a bunch of competition driving up the bid rates.

Anyone care to speculate? Please add your thoughts to the comments.

Question 6: Can my treatment center get certified?

If you are a treatment facility with a valid company website, physical address, qualified staff and think can meet all of their certification qualifications, you can definitely apply!

However, it looks like the early bird gets the worm in this case. With only 30 applicants being accepted for a trial run and more than 14,500 specialized drug treatment facilities in the U.S., it may be tough to become one of the first.

You can start the process here if you’re interested and ready to begin AdWords as soon as Google permits: LegitScript’s Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Certification Application.

Maybe the bigger question here is really: Should I get certified?

A successful Google AdWords campaign now requires a significant financial investment each month:

  • A LegitScript fee of $995 up front, and then $1,995 annually.
  • A professional setup and management fee, which could run you $500 to $5000 per month, depending on who you hire and their level of skill.
  • Expertly written ad messages and optimized landing pages, which could run another few thousand dollars.
  • Google AdWords and Display ad fees, which historically have run companies anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 per month. That’s right, I said $500 THOUSAND. These people were not messing around. I don’t know what ads will run for these 30 or so accepted applicants, but I am guessing they will need a few thousand dollars, just the same.

What Does That Total?

Conservatively speaking, you’re looking at $5,000 for the setup costs and at least $10,000 per month including ad fees, landing pages and management costs. I guess you could do it for cheaper, but if you think your ads will perform without expert management and optimized landing pages, you’re probably wasting marketing dollars.

Ads need the right strategy to get results. It’s easy to blow tons of money fast if you don’t have your campaigns set up right.

Final Take

My advice? If you’re not prepared to spend thousands of dollars, don’t bother. There are so many other channels of marketing that you can utilize to generate qualified leads without breaking the bank. I would strongly suggest you really think through all of your options and talk with a strategist before making a decision on investing into Google AdWords again. It’s a commitment.

On the other hand, if you DO have the money, this could be an opportunity for your rehab organization to come out ahead of the insanely high pre-ban bid rates.

What do you think? Worth it or naw? Weigh in below.

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Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.

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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.

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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

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How to Build an Aligned Sales and Marketing Strategy

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Sales + Marketing = SUCCESS - Eminent SEO

In this post, I want to explore how and why sales and marketing strategies must align. I also want to share some tools that will help you build, monitor and track your campaigns and marketing ROI.

Who Does Sales and Who Does Marketing?

Generally, a business that doesn’t have an in-house marketing team will look for an agency, such as ours, to partner with. In this scenario, they are the sales team and we are the marketing team. Seems simple enough, right? Sadly, no.

Little Girl Suspicious Look - ESEOYears of working with sales teams both internally and those responsible on the client side has taught me that the roles and responsibilities aren’t always as clear as you’d like them to be.

There’s one more thing: The sales and marketing goals aren’t always aligned.

When misalignment exists, leads slip through the cracks and become lost. While it’s impossible to create THE end-all perfect lead generation pipeline with a 100 percent closing rate, maximizing the full potential of ALL marketing and sales efforts means you’re getting as close to perfect as possible.

The key is through effective communication between both sides.

The Need for an Aligned Sales and Marketing Strategy

The sales team needs to know AND fully understand what kind of performance data the marketing team relies onto measure success, and vice versa.

The marketing team needs to make sure every lead they’ve generated has the capability to seamlessly transition into becoming the sales team’s responsibility to close.

If the teams are using any automated tools, both need to understand how the other side reads the data – and how to use it to maximize efficiency.

According to The Aberdeen Group’s report:

In 2017, 92 percent of organizations reported below-average lead conversion rates because of misalignment between their marketing and sales teams. Click To TweetSimilarly, the sales teams who were top performers in their field were 76 percent more likely to report a “complete or strong alignment” with their marketing team.

A campaign where both halves understand each other’s differences in roles, responsibilities, goals and overall strategy – and have successfully aligned their efforts in a cohesive manner – will be losing fewer leads overall. That’s a win for both sides.

Tracking Every Customer

I get it, we all want MORE SALES! It’s true, but not all businesses have the ability to track their sales to the source. It’s easy if you’re an eCommerce business and the entire sales transaction happens online.

But, what about the brick-and-mortar stores who are using digital marketing to get people into their shops? I guess you could have the cashier ask them how they heard about you, but in the end, is a handful of responses indicating “Google” as the lead source really going to empower you to make better marketing decisions?

I doubt it.

As marketers, how do we even begin to work toward getting “more sales” if we don’t even know which key performance indicators (KPIs) to focus on?

Marketing Key Performance Indicators

Marketers need DATA! The only way any of us are ever going to provide a client with an accurate lead generation report is to have the proper tools and processes in place.

Typical campaign KPIs we track and report on include:

  • Organic marketing keyword impressions and rankings
  • Website traffic data, per source type (direct, organic, referral, social, paid, etc.)
  • Website traffic trends and user behavior
  • Conversion rates, per type (phone calls, form fills, eBook downloads, chats, subscribers)
  • Off-site marketing conversion rates, per type (email opens, social followers, fan submissions)
  • Marketing platform insights, such as increased page likes and followers
  • Marketing return on investment (ROI)

In order to track these metrics, we use:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Keyword tracking tools
  • Call tracking tools
  • Website and social platform chat tools
  • Platform insights
  • Other paid reporting tools

Sales Key Performance Indicators

These KPIs and reports are certainly useful and important to the sales team. But, among those responsible for conversions, you will hear this time and time again: “We only care about sales”.

Sales can be nearly impossible to track for some businesses without the sales team entering data into the tools. How can your marketing team track sales if they only happen offline?

If you are an addiction treatment center, for example, and you take phone calls as a primary lead source, what happens after the call? Do you make notes in a call tracking system? Then what? Does the “lead” get manually placed into a CRM? Do you have a CRM?

If you are a call-centric business or if your sales cycle isn’t completed entirely online, then you MUST have a CRM.

What is a CRM?

A CRM is a customer relationship management tool. This is where you can house your contacts and manage your leads.

Do I still need to notate my call tracking tool if I have a CRM?

YES! Your CRM will help you manage your leads.

If a lead closes and it came in from a phone call, you should always go back to your call tracking system and enter in the conversion information. This allows the marketing team to export the calls and determine which ones converted into sales…and which ones didn’t.

And not just calls, but the source of the call. Don’t you want to know where your conversions are coming from? Was it the Facebook ad campaign or the email marketing?

By scoring the calls and entering in conversion data, the sales AND marketing teams will know what is and isn’t working.

Website Leads Website Sessions Comparison Report Chart - Eminent SEO

The Difference Between Marketing and Sales Qualified Leads

Now that we all agree the marketing team can’t perform its job without the sales data and input from the sales team, how do we know who is responsible for what?

Marketers generate leads.

Sometimes, however, lead generation focuses on different stages of the buyer’s journey. This means not everyone is ready to BUY NOW.

So, we develop various funnels and lead capture opportunities to catch the various buyers at every stage in the journey.

We then group the leads into two types:

  • Marketing Qualified Leads
  • Sales Qualified Leads

Marketing qualified leads are typically website visitors who downloaded a gated asset, such as an eBook or brochure, in exchange for their email info. They can also be newsletter subscribers, quiz participants, event attendees or webinar signups.

Really, an MQL can be anyone who connected with us and provided contact information, but has not yet requested a call or more information from the sales team.

Sales qualified leads can start as a marketing lead and turn into a sales qualified lead when they explicitly express interest in purchasing.

Similarly, they can start as a sales qualified lead if they:

  • Call
  • Initiate a chat
  • Request more information
  • Fill out a sales form (such as insurance verification, intake form or consultation request)

As marketers, we need a system and the right tools to generate and nurture the marketing qualified leads. We can then convert them into sales leads through a manual process, or we can work with the sales team to align the systems and tools to automate the lead-management process for reduced human error and better lead management overall.

Generally, this system is a CRM.

Marketing and Sales Automation Tools

It might sound complicated, but it’s really not that difficult to manage the tools once you set them up properly and the teams are both trained on how to use them.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one singe tool that will provide the sales and marketing teams with everything they need.

As outlined above, your marketing may rely on several tools to track and report on your multi-channel marketing campaigns.

Today, most of the paid tools open up their API so developers can code integrations. Still, this does require an expert who understands the technical side of things if you want to automate the process.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

You can automate most of the marketing and sales funnel, but there will always be some pros and cons when doing so. Automation tools are pricey and require a professional team to setup and manage.

On the other hand, you can manually manage your leads and save costs on automation tools and supporting marketing materials – but at what cost to your bottom line? How many leads get forgotten when there is no CRM to store and manage them? How much time is wasted manually emailing leads that aren’t qualified for the sales team?

Automation costs more on the front end to set up and manage. But in the long run, you’ll save on:

  • Avoiding human error
  • Automating lead capture
  • Paying an employee to follow up with the unqualified leads
  • Automating lead nurturing
  • Reusing emails and assets in automation campaigns
  • Leveraging the tool data in the marketing strategy development

Even if you decide not to automate, you still need to manage and track your leads. And unless your business gets less than a handful of leads a month and you can manage them in a shared Google document or other free tool, you should consider getting a CRM.

There are free CRMs, such as the HubSpot CRM FREE, that allow you to test using a tool to manage your sales pipeline without making a huge investment into customization and integrations. It’s literally free, forever. We like that.

Free Hubspot CRM Landing Page - ESEO

Creating an Aligned Marketing and Sales Strategy

We begin by outlining all of the marketing channels. This should include both digital and direct marketing sources:

Multi-Channel Marketing Venn Diagram - Eminent SEO

We then like to think through the possible conversion actions, per source. This includes:

  • Calls
  • Chats
  • Downloads
  • Subscribes
  • Likes
  • Messages
  • Submissions
  • Form fills

All of these user actions or conversions are trackable with:

  • Call tracking
  • Chat tracking
  • Website form capture
  • CRM lead capture
  • Social insights
  • Email tools
  • Reporting tools

The sales team is responsible for:

  • Scoring calls
  • Scoring chats
  • Managing sales leads
  • Entering in sales conversion data
  • Providing feedback to the marketing team

The Marketing Team’s Responsibilities

The marketing team is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the tools are set up and integrated properly
  • Monitoring social messages
  • Generating leads
  • Nurturing marketing qualified leads
  • Reporting on marketing and sales KPIs
  • Using sales data in developing the marketing strategies

Marketing keeps the channels up to date with branded assets, such as:

  • Content pages
  • Images and graphics
  • Videos
  • eBooks and white papers
  • Blog posts
  • New landing pages
  • Infographics
  • Quizzes

Marketing also performs ongoing strategy development and campaign management tasks, such as:

  • Organic outreach
  • Guest blogging
  • Email campaigns
  • Paid ads
  • Social engagement
  • Media buys
  • Keyword research
  • Technical SEO
  • Editorial calendar development
  • Competitive analysis

When both sales and marketing agree to the strategy, we upload it into a shared Google doc and privately share it to the various members of the teams. This way, we all have an open, shared document to reference that outlines the marketing channels.

Using a Google doc also makes it easy to add columns for identifying who is responsible for which leads, the tool used, steps in the lead workflow management, and final “house” for the lead once it’s converted (or dead).

Lead And Sales Lifecycle Strategy Google Spreadsheet - Eminent SEO

Defining and Measuring Your Marketing and Sales Goals

Each business is unique. Your service offering, your product, your marketplace, your competition, your history, your mission – these are all defining variables. It’s important for your sales and marketing teams to review all of the data, put the data in context and create a shared short- and long-term set of goals.

You’ll need to review:

  • What your unique value propositions are: What sets you apart from your competition? Why are you special?
  • Who your audience is: Are they searching for your brand or products? Where do they “live” online? Is there a demand for your services?
  • Who your competition is: What are they doing with their website and marketing? What do you have to do in order to compete?
  • Your existing website and digital assets: Are they optimized for the engines and your audience? Do you need a new design as well as marketing materials?
  • What your brand says to the world: Who are you and what is your mission? Does your brand and reputation say “work with me”?

Depending on your overall existing digital footprint, you may need to factor in a bigger budget or a longer amount of time to reach your goals.

Aim for a Mix of Short-Term and Long-Term Victories

It’s possible to speed up the process of lead generation with paid ads and low-hanging-fruit opportunities. The only time these shortcuts wouldn’t apply is with your organic marketing, because there is no amount of money you can spend to speed up the process of building trust within your niche. Trust comes with age, and age comes with time.

With a multi-channel marketing campaign, your goals should be aimed at short-term wins and long-term gains. Even paid ad campaigns take time to mature and gain better quality scores for improved ad placement and click-through rates.

You should aim for month-over-month increases in the important marketing KPIs, but you should estimate marketing ROI for a full campaign on a quarterly or yearly basis.

Goals vs. Objectives

Your goals may be specific desired business results, such as:

  • Adding more sales funnels
  • Automating the sales cycle
  • Gaining a specific percentage of repeat customers
  • Generating a specific number of leads

Whereas, the overall marketing objectives may be broader, such as:

  • Brand awareness
  • Product awareness
  • Fan and social follower growth
  • Marketing lead generation
  • Lowering the cost per acquisition
  • Growing market share
  • Reputation management

Although it may seem like a good idea to target all of these objectives in your strategies, you may want to focus on one or two at a time and create a plan to expand into additional areas as you go.

Setting SMART Goals

Once you’ve developed a strategy and have a clear plan on which marketing objectives you want to focus on, it’s time to create the SMART goals.

SMART marketing objectives are:

  • Specific: The goals are clearly defined and prioritized.
  • Measurable: The goal KPIs are established and tracked.
  • Achievable: The team agrees these goals are within their abilities.
  • Relevant: The goals relate to the overall brand purpose and mission.
  • Time-Bound: The goals have a timeline, milestones and deliverables.

SMART Acronym For Marketing - Eminent SEO

Final Tip: Assign a Leader

We’ve found the sales and marketing teams work best as a functional unit when there is one primary decision maker. Ultimately, the person who makes decisions on budgets, marketing KPI’s, business objectives and sales goals should understand the strategy and be empowered with the correct data to make an informed decision.

Once you’ve established your short- and long-term goals and have a strategy and a team in place, stick with it! The leader should give the team the freedom to work on its individual expertise, but always regroup and share strategy updates with both sales and marketing in order to ensure a continued, cohesive strategy.

Main Takeaways for Building an Aligned Sales and Marketing Strategy

An alignment between your sales and marketing strategies is crucial for generating high-quality leads and better conversions. When there is a failure in alignment, leads get lost in the pipeline; they slip through the cracks and never reach the closing stage.

To ensure alignment:

  • Build a solid line of communication between the teams.
  • Develop and manage one strategy plan with clear processes.
  • Use tools to monitor and track your progress.

If you are just getting started or your sales and marketing teams have already learned how to work independently of each other’s goals, this may sound like an arduous task. However, once the plan is developed, the tools are set up and the teams are communicating well, you will be thankful you took the time to align your marketing and sales strategies. And, better yet, your bottom line will benefit.

Anchorman Jumping Hooray Meme - ESEO

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Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.

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The Power of Online Video for SEO and Brand Trust

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Power Of Online Video For SEO Brand Trust - Eminent SEO
There is some truth to the phrase “seeing is believing.” And in today’s world, skepticism isn’t just for the paranoid. Business owners and clients believe they aren’t as gullible as they used to be, thanks to Snopes.com, E-Verify and a social culture that’s never heard of doing business on a handshake.

To provide a visual of what the initial interaction with a potential customer looks like, picture a stone-faced man or woman seated with arms crossed on the chest, void of emotion, waiting for the next round of B.S. to present itself.

Think about most of the marketing pitches you get online, whether through organic search or pay per click. Expecting a bait and switch? How often is that delivered? Right. No wonder we’re so distrustful.

Marketing Without Video Is as Reliable as Online Dating

YouTube Second Largest Search Engine Behind Google - Eminent SEOWith much of our business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationships made across local, regional and national borders, any opportunity to engage in face-to-face communication is essential to building trust.

Remember when the idea of having your photo on your email signature was introduced? The reason behind it is the same. But it’s anticlimactic to have a conversation with a photo.

If you’ve ever engaged in the online dating process, it’s easy to get the message about why marketing with online video is such a powerful tool. You begin by conversing online with photos being the visual that entices.

You have no idea what these people sound like, how their mannerisms dictate the way they move, how they react to the unexpected or what drives them as human beings. And yes, you really can’t authenticate whether that photo is really him (or her).

Apply this to your business. If your online presence only includes the use of static imagery, there is no dimension to your brand and you’re missing a key opportunity to increase the reach of your SEO.

Every Business Is in the Business of Telling Stories

Now that social media has superseded print and physical collateral for marketing agency and business owner spends, as well as footing heavy competition for the television space, how your company represents itself is dictated by the stories it tells.

Breaking Down the Art of Storytelling

Whether you are a brick-and-mortar operation or solely online, the moment customers enter your facility or website, they are expecting a story. The visuals need to speak to them. The words need to engage emotion so that they stay long enough to purchase or at least remember who you are and why they should come back and/or share the experience with the people they know.

This is relationship marketing; it’s based on the ability to create a story that has dimension and depth. Nothing does that for you better than online video.

Salespeople Are the Biggest Storytellers of All

Business Video Marketing Spend 2018 Statistic - Eminent SEOThere remains an ongoing, friendly feud between creative marketers and salespeople. Salespeople generally have a disdain for marketers and believe that marketing content is nothing but fluff.

On the other hand, marketers know that a good story is needed before a salesperson ever gets the chance to tell their own story.

Marketers and salespeople aren’t that different. Here’s why:

  • Marketers – Devise a story, direct or indirect, meant to get the attention of a prospect and lead them to the sales department or immediately convert a sale.
  • Salespeople – Listen to the prospect and, based on what they hear, create a story that will resonate to convert a sale.

Online video supports marketing and sales initiatives because the story can be retold over and over again. Just hit play.

Video: The Next Best Thing to Being There

Marketing in motion (that’s what video is) provides a unique layering of flexibility to your creative campaigns. You can adjust the tone, the language, the lighting and effects on the fly. If it’s realism you want to convey to your audience, this is how it’s done.

For a more polished look, high-end equipment and professional videographers are the way to go as they better understand the mechanics behind the machinery and how to maximize the production to get better results. Make sure to create your own YouTube channel to post the videos, and incorporate keywords to help boost views and increase organic rankings.

Remember that Google sometimes chooses to show videos on page one of a user’s search, and that YouTube itself is the second-largest search engine on the web. Leverage your videos accordingly.

Why Video Is Business Marketing Royalty

According to a 2017 video marketing survey by Wyzowl,

  • On average, 90 minutes per day are spent watching online video.
  • 15% of those who watch online video do so for three hours or more daily.
  • 99% of businesses who already use video will continue this year.
  • 82% of businesses plan to increase their marketing spend on video in 2018.
  • Two out of three businesses that do not have an online video presence will start in 2018.

Where does your business stand? How are you capturing audience, brand awareness, SEO and conversions? If you’re not doing video (or creating the right kind of video), you virtually don’t exist.

What Does Online Video for SEO Do for Your Business?

Nothing creates a sense of believability and credibility to online users like video. It allows you to craft a message and deliver it in a way that keeps you in control.

If you like the response it generates, you can build other videos around it for a full-bodied campaign. If the response is not what you’d hoped for, you can repurpose some of the content, add new footage to shift direction and monitor audience reception from there.

Remember these numbers when it comes to video marketing:

  • 57% of online viewers feel more confident about purchasing a product or service after watching a video.
  • 74% purchased a product after seeing a tutorial video.
  • 78% of businesses who use online video realized positive ROI.

Love it or hate it, Google runs the online SEO show. Might as well make friends with the virtual giant. By the way, Google adores video. If your website doesn’t have an embedded video on it, you’re missing out on a 53 times greater chance of showing up on the first page of search results, according to Moovly.

Optimize Your Optimization

If you already have a strong online video presence, your business no doubt is already receiving the benefits it brings. But if the back end isn’t working just as hard, your videos aren’t reigning in what you justly deserve. The right long-tail keyword phrases, headlines and descriptions also add value to your SEO positioning.

If you want (no, you need) to learn more about how the right online video marketing strategy can bring big changes to your business, ask the experts in digital marketing and brand strategy: Eminent SEO.

Read More About Refining Your Content Marketing Strategy for 2018

Keep Your Content Marketing Fresh

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Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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How Businesses Are Wasting Money on Marketing That Doesn’t Work

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Businesses Are Wasting Their Money Marketing That Doesn't Work - Eminent SEO

This is probably the conversation I have the most frequently with marketing industry peers and clients. It is just a repetitive chat; the subject gets people animated, agitated, confused and eyes-bulging, vein-popping frustrated. Why? Because nobody listens.

Here’s one note of caution for starters: If you think you know marketing because of a Google search or two, you don’t know squat!

Marketing and Sales People Are the Biggest Suckers on the Planet

We’re in this conundrum together – because there isn’t one answer on how to do marketing. Instead, it’s essential that you understand the options and how they work together (or fail).

Even with the best industry gurus on your side, watching the SEO analysis month over month and staying current with the latest Google and Facebook algorithm shifts, there are no guarantees that your creative campaigns or media placements are going to work. Depressed yet?

Here’s what I can tell you. Marketing, just like people, shifts. What works today can be gone with the wind of tomorrow’s latest and greatest trend. Yaaass. This business is not for the emotionally thin-skinned. In other words, grow a pair, do some due diligence and have fun.

Beware of Snake Oil Yes Men (and Women) That Guarantee Anything

Recently, I had a client call me on the phone (old school, I know) to share his excitement. He’s got a handful of websites and just got a call from this guy in Chicago who swears he can deliver a branded TV commercial and media placement on 30 some odd stations. Wait for it… all for 1,000 bucks.

You’re laughing, right? It gets better. This guy also says he will guarantee 300 leads, calls that will go directly to my client’s call center.

Remember what I said earlier about there being no guarantees? Yeah. It applies here. So I called the guy in Chicago. I told him that if he wanted to swear to God that 300 leads are guaranteed, it was on him. I wouldn’t bet on that and I don’t think the Lord would appreciate being the brunt of a wager in futility.

How did I call him out? With one easy question: “Can you send me the list of media channels where the commercial will run?” I asked with a snarky smile. He replied, “No.”

This was a sketchy operation with phony leads that would undoubtedly go nowhere. Trust (sort of), then verify. Works like a charm.

Businesses are wasting money on #marketing because they do not think QUALITY over QUANTITY.Click To Tweet

Secret Keywords Are Like a Losing Game of Hide and Seek

Ever since Google has been cracking down on those who try to outsmart it (some do so successfully, but it’s temporary) one such solution appears as a “miracle grow” for SEO rankings. Watch out for the companies that say they will boost your presence by using targeted keywords strategically placed and hidden within your fine print of terms and conditions or right-hand-side testimonial content, for example.

Do really you think this is smarter than the peeps and tech that crawl websites for Google? Naw, probably not.

Marketing That Doesn’t Work: More Isn’t Mo’ Better

Marketing Tactics To Use In 2018 Keywords Video Content - Eminent SEOOverconsumption comes by us honestly. We’re Americans. It’s what we do. While some people have an issue with taking in excessive amounts of food, alcohol, drugs, toxic relationships or shoes (yes, shoes), many business owners believe that a handful of websites to represent their product offerings are better than just one.

Moreover, these duplicate (basically that’s what they are) sites house essentially the same content as one another. Not only is this so passé and ineffective; it’s naughty.

Why the marketing tactics mentioned so far don’t work isn’t just about cheesing up our industry standards. Our core audience detests it. Millennials are now the largest group of consumers. If your business doesn’t understand this audience, you might as well hang it up right now.

If you’d rather get a clue as to what you should be doing to get their appeal and more accolades for your product or service, keep reading.

Pander (I Mean Cater) to Your Audience

Millennials can be cruel. Maybe not cruel, but brutally honest. They don’t understand the merits of privacy (thank you MySpace, and now Twitter and Facebook) and believe that everything is subject to discussion, rant and opinion on the web. If your product or service doesn’t cut it, you’ll know, quickly. Here’s what to do to angle it all in your favor.

Invite the Criticism

Take a deep breath. Swallow that lump of insecurity in your throat. Be bold enough on social media to have a unique presence and put posts out there that speak to who you are and what you stand for. Take the heat that comes.

Pay attention; it’s the most inexpensive way to get an understanding of what’s working or not…and it’s ideal for discovering gaping holes of opportunity. Although, social media is not the place for ongoing product pitches. It’s about having a personality and building a following.

Make Millennials Matter

Leveraging the right social media platforms is essential to owning the millennial market. How you position your profiles is even more important. Make sure your content doesn’t talk down to them, as it needs to include them.

Position this audience as instrumental in your success. They must be part of your conversation. If your brand strategy allows them to lead the conversation, that’s golden.

Create the Experience

Product and services aren’t flat surfaces (though many smart devices are pretty close). The world isn’t flat either; it’s full of dimension. Enter marketing and editorial content.

What resonates with people today is a full-bodied experience with your product, service or brand. It taps on the emotion, the most powerful place your marketing can target. People may not remember what you said or did, but it’s how you made them feel that matters.

Provide Information That’s Unique and Individually Topical

The definition of an information junkie = millennial. From their childhood, web surfing was the only way to get the answers they needed. Ask a question of their parents, and “Google it” was the go-to response. As such, the information you put out must be accurate, relevant and thought-provoking, which gives them a reason to investigate further (they will) and respond.

Build Your Brand with Integrity That Is Globally Relevant

Long gone are the days where providing a free product offering would win over potential customers. Today’s consumers are cynical, and for good reason. With the onslaught of cyber theft and security breaches, people understand that if it says it’s free, there’s probably a cost.

If your product or service doesn’t provide global impact by its very existence, then your company brand should. If it doesn’t – to a millennial – you don’t exist.

Top 6 Marketing Angles Worth the Expense

Sales, web development and marketing firms will try to entice you into needing what they offer. With all the choices, it’s difficult to discern between necessity and fluff. Use this list of must-haves to position the marketing of your business well.

2018 marketing angles that work:

  • Quality content – original copywriting and optimized alt tags for imagery should rank organically
  • Video often – boosts viewership and experiential marketing
  • Cause marketing – brands your business with emotional substance
  • Niche campaigns – all media outlets, segment your audiences
  • Embrace the screens – use cross-channel marketing to increase impressions
  • Long-phrase keywords – catches the low-hanging fruit of search engines

Final Thought on Marketing to Your Audience

Not every business can claim millennials as its target audience. True. However, early adapters of web use and the culture of instant gratification aren’t merely for the young. This is how every generation under 65 years of age consumes.

Today, we are all millennials. Your marketing efforts need to align with our new, collective behavior.

See How to Appeal to Generation Z Online

Avatar for Melanie Stern

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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Passing the Torch: Updating Your Website’s Backlink Strategy for 2018

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Backlink Building To Link Earning - ESEO

As long as Google has acted as our de facto gateway to the rest of the Internet, so too have brands and marketers developed strategies for optimizing their content according to Google’s algorithm.

This has created a bit of tug-of-war between the tech giant and advertisers. The sequence goes:

  • Google introduces a new algorithm update to better optimize search engine results.
  • Marketers then update their best practices to help their brands gain or maintain as much online visibility as possible.
  • Within a year or two, Google significantly updates its algorithm and starts the cycle all over again.

With the introduction of Penguin in 2012 and its subsequent updates, Google has become incredibly sophisticated at differentiating between backlinks that are earned organically and those that are established using industry-wide content marketing strategies. Now Google plans to use that information to prioritize sites that predominantly host organic backlinks and, in some cases, penalize sites that do not.

Want to make sure your link strategy is up to date and penalty free? The following tips outline ways that you can update your approach, introduce new solutions and leverage your link-building experience in a link-earning world.

The Rise of Link Earning

Evaluate Content By Leads Conversions Bounce Rate - Eminent SEOIt wouldn’t be fair to describe link earning as a completely new concept for two major reasons: First and foremost, link earning was basically the only way that individuals and businesses gained exposure for their website back before search engines were ubiquitous. Those who produced interesting content that filled a need had their website linked to by other websites. In the most straightforward way possible, great content earned you links.

Second, it’s important to point out that the strategies used to “earn” links are not considerably different than those used to “build” links. Both require businesses to make intentional decisions about their content, stay disciplined in producing brand-supported content and find ways to consistently engage with customers and other businesses.

The shift is less about strategy as it is about execution. If you were already link building at a high level and producing content that naturally attracted visitors to your site, then you may have already been link earning for years.

If your link-building strategy was minimal or depended on questionable tactics like purchasing links, your website is now a greater risk for penalties than ever before.

Chances are that Google’s standards will only become even stricter in the future. The time to get your content marketing approach up to date is right now.

Backlink Strategy Advice on Shifting from Link Building to Earning

Sometimes the differences between link building and link earning are as subtle. Convincing another business to link to your site might qualify as “link building” if you don’t have much of a history with the other website.

Conversely, you may have had an established relationship with another professional and they share your content because it is a good fit for their own customers. That would certainly qualify as “link earning.”

In a sense, link earning is merely link building being done at a consistently high level. Here are a few ways to streamline your content marketing strategy and generate organic interest in your site:

Stick to Your Schedule

It can’t be stressed enough how important it is that your brand delivers high-quality content on a consistent, predictable schedule. This is one of the most effective ways to get repeat engagement from online users.

Provide them with valuable information then let them know how, when and where to get more. If you follow up with even more useful content, you’ve got yourself some fresh, organic engagement.

Not keeping to a content release schedule, regardless of what difficulties your business had in producing on time, will quickly erode your audience. Even worse, other websites are less inclined to promote your content if they think your company is unprofessional about meeting deadlines.

Share, Share, Share

Posting links to your brand’s content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? That’s not enough. The companies that are earning organic links consistently are also engaging customers over a broad spectrum of social media channels every day. Sites like Medium, LinkedIn and Google+ feature feeds that can be used to share content. More niche social media platforms like Pinterest can be used to share eye-catching graphics and other visual materials.

Regardless of what kind of high-quality content your company is generating, it is critical that you share that content to a wide variety of places. Casting a wide net when it comes to social engagement is one of the most effective ways to draw new and routine traffic alike to your website.

Review and Revise

If your brand hasn’t developed a strategy for evaluating the impact of your content, then that needs to change right away. If you do have an evaluation strategy and you aren’t getting the results you want, it may be because your performance evaluations aren’t providing you with the right information.

You need to identify effective metrics for analyzing the performance of your content, including, but not limited to:

  • Lead generation
  • Sales
  • Bounce rates

Once these evaluation tools and benchmarks are set in place, it’s important that your brand commit itself to constant self-improvement. Your competitors are always going to be strategizing to push their content to the next level. Equal amounts of diligence are required on your end to stay relevant. When all else fails, look at your competitors for ideas and strategies that you can turn into your own.

Preparing for Transition

Updating a business strategy isn’t easy, especially when your brand has been doing things a certain way for a long time. That being said, refusing to stay current with the times spells disaster for your brand’s long-term success.

There are plenty of ways to make the transition from link building to link earning with minimal stress and hassle. As mentioned before, these strategies are not so far apart. Your task is less to reinvent the wheel when it comes to content marketing, and more identifying the special niche that only your brand can fill.

Research will be a major factor in your company reaching its goal. You’ll need to fully understand the types of customers who might be interested in your brand and tailor your content strategy to reflect their tastes.

Talent acquisition will also play a major role in your ability to consistently earn links. Earning links and developing content that people want to share are both full-time jobs. Expecting a professional to wear both of these hats is far from setting that person up for success. Hiring the right people to produce the right content is a much more reliable investment.

Get Support If Necessary

Without sufficient expertise, turning your link-building strategies into link-earning solutions can be time consuming and costly to implement. That’s why it makes sense to work with experts and expand your education. This type of online and offline networking can help you earn more links in the long term as well. Check out the rest of this helpful blog or reach out to us if your site needs more traffic.

See Our Many Link Earning Services

Avatar for Remy Albillar

Remy Albillar

As a content writer at Eminent SEO, I specialize in producing high-quality copy for a long list of digital mediums, including websites, emails, blogs and social media. I got my career started right out of college producing SEO-driven content for a marketing agency based in Tucson, AZ. I’ve since worked as a copywriter within numerous industries. I’ve written the first half of a personal memoir and earned my master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

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Did Google Crush Your Addiction Treatment AdWords Campaign?

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Eminent SEO - Google Crushes Addiction Treatment AdWords CampaignsAround September of this year, Google placed new restrictions on advertising keywords related to searches for addiction treatment. This had a tremendous impact on addiction treatment centers around the country that relied on Google AdWords campaigns as their primary digital ad source.

In fact, word on the street is certain centers have been hit so hard they are cutting staff, selling their facilities and even going bankrupt.

Why Did Google Crack Down on Addiction Treatment Ads?

As a long-time addiction treatment marker myself, I have watched the recovery industry evolve over the last 12 years. Over that period of time, I have seen a lot of shady marketing practices in general. I mean, a ton.

However, what has become even more alarming over the last few years has been shady (sometimes even illegal) addiction treatment center business practices. I even recently wrote a blog post directed to addiction treatment centers as an open letter on what NOT to do: Dear Addiction Rehab Owners.

Those of us who preach ethical marketing saw this coming and said it would happen. Overnight, Google decided to stop selling ads for a giant number of “addiction treatment” related search terms, including “rehab near me,” “alcohol treatment” and thousands of others.

Imagine the SHOCK around the country as the $35 billion addiction treatment industry discovered its primary lead generation source was practically shut off overnight.

Google told The Verge in a statement:

“We found a number of misleading experiences among rehabilitation treatment centers that led to our decision, in consultation with experts, to restrict ads in this category. As always, we constantly review our policies to protect our users and provide good experiences for consumers.”

Isn’t This a Loss for Google?

Uh, yes. Some of the top-searched rehab terms were going for $100-plus per click! We know addiction treatment centers that were spending millions of dollars a year on Google ads alone.

But, you know what a bigger loss is? The 570,000 people who die annually from drug and alcohol use every year in the United States. According to National Institutes of Health drug facts, that number breaks down to more than 480,000 deaths related to tobacco, about 31,000 due to alcohol, nearly 22,000 due to overdose on illicit (illegal) drugs, and close to 23,000 due to overdose on prescription pain relievers.

If those deaths don’t shock you, let me give you something to compare that too. This is the list of the top 10 causes of death in the United States every year:

  • Heart issues: about 630,000 people die of heart disease annually
  • Cancer: a source of roughly 596,000 deaths annually
  • Chronic lower respiratory disease (a collection of lung diseases): 147,000 deaths
  • Accidents and unintentional injuries: 136,053 deaths
  • Stroke: 140,323
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 110,561
  • Diabetes: 79,535
  • Influenza and pneumonia: 57,062
  • Nephritis and nephrosis (kidney issues): 49,959
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 44,193

If you combine alcohol and drug related deaths, we are talking about 90,000 annually. Doesn’t that place substance abuse and addiction number 7 on the list?

People are dying! And, the saddest part? They are dying because they aren’t getting the help they need.

Although this stat is outdated (real-time stats on this stuff are hard to find!), the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found only 10.9 percent of the individuals who needed professional substance abuse actually received it.

We can do better. We MUST do better.

How Can Addiction Treatment Centers and Marketers Do Better?

Jenny Stradling - Quote on Ethical MarketingUnfortunately, this crackdown wasn’t rolled out based on the legitimacy of the facility or its advertising agency, like the organic rankings have been. This change impacted all treatment centers and their marketing agencies, legitimate or not.

It’s not fair, but Google never claimed to be fair. One bad apple might have not ruined it for the rest of us, but a LOT of bad apples did. And you know what? Good.

You heard me.

I’m tired of shady business practices. I am tired of seeing the greed in this industry. I am tired of getting calls for “grey hat” marketing practices from treatment centers who still think they have to trick Google in order to win.

I am tired of finding misinformation on legitimate sites (yes, I see you spammy rehab marketers and your regurgitated, ill-researched content). I am tired of seeing zero value being placed on quality and ethics. I am tired of auditing digital brands only to find crap.

Wake up, addiction treatment providers and marketers! This is not why we do business. We MUST find a way to do better.

Start by putting your clients first. Start by laying out a clear goal and mission. Start by agreeing to do things ethically. Start by working with other industry professionals that care about getting results AND are passionate about making a difference.

The only way your brand stands a chance in the long run is to do things the right way. Otherwise, it will catch up with you. It always does.

What Should You Replace Your Addiction Treatment AdWords Campaign With?

As a multi-channel marketing agency, we have always suggested a custom brand and marketing strategy for our addiction treatment center clients. There is no single marketing channel that will ever supply any business with all of its leads indefinitely, especially when you consider the ever-changing digital landscape.

Typically, our addiction treatment center clients will have a campaign that includes several tactics and digital channels of marketing:

  • Quality Website Design and Images
  • Professional Landing Page Optimization
  • Technical Website SEO
  • Optimized Content and Meta Data
  • Website Blogging
  • Brand Asset Development
  • Organic Search Engine Marketing
  • Local and Geo-targeted Marketing
  • Social Channel Management
  • Paid Social Ad Campaigns
  • Newsletter and Email Marketing
  • Testing, Tracking and Custom Reporting

We may also supplement with Google or Bing paid ads, but we have never relied on them. Why? Too expensive, higher cost per admit and lower conversion rate than the organic channels.

However, if you have recently been hit hard by the Google AdWords “rehab” related keyword restrictions, here are some channels you can explore:

Social Paid Ads

Yes, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat can generate addiction treatment leads when done properly. Facebook and Instagram ads are killing it for our clients right now.

Inbound Marketing

It’s not a quick fix, but utilizing custom landing pages, gated assets and email campaigns with smart, automated workflows can have a big long-term impact on your brand reach.

Geo-targeting

It’s not just “local marketing” anymore. Google gets to decide what search queries are considered local and which ones are not. You must optimize your website and ad strategies for the geo-targets you want to rank for. (Looking for more? Ask us about geo-fencing.)

Video Marketing

We can talk about video for days, but I’ll just say this: videos are valuable assets for your brand. But, not all videos are created equally. A well-researched video strategy can drive the entire marketing campaign. 2018 is the year to invest into video.

Website and Social Chat

A surprising number of treatment centers think online chat won’t work for them. Well, I am here to tell you something: it does work, and I know because I see the conversions from our client chat campaigns. If it isn’t working for you, you’re doing it wrong.

Conclusion

When you are in an industry that is known for false advertising, illegal patient brokering and bidding wars, it’s imperative you take the time to A) put ethical business practices into place, and B) hire a company who can guarantee they are doing the same.

If you need an agency that understands the addiction treatment industry and cares about quality, ethics AND the bottom line, give us a call. Let’s make something special together.

Contact Us to Get Started

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Avatar for Jenny Stradling

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.

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Beware Boredom: Keeping Your Content Marketing Strategy Fresh in 2018

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Keep Content Marketing Strategy Fresh For 2018 - Eminent SEO

For years you’ve been hearing about the importance of developing higher quality content and making that content a central part of your overall marketing strategy.

Don’t count on that thinking to go away anytime soon. That’s because long-term content marketing strategies across every industry are bearing fruit and helping brands to significantly expand their reach.

Revealing Study

A study performed by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs revealed that 2017 was a big year for content marketing. The survey of more than 1,000 American companies representing a vast range of industries – ranging from technology and consulting to health care and publishing – found that investments in content marketing have produced promising returns.

Here are some of the most notable takeaways from the study:

  • 89% of B2B marketers are using content marketing in 2017.
  • 63% of respondents are “very committed” to content marketing.
  • 85% of companies said that improving content quality had considerable benefits.
  • 88% of respondents agreed that content marketing was the most important part of their marketing strategy.

It’s clear that content marketing has been just as effective as promised, and that means more and more companies are going to be jumping onto the trend in 2018. The pressure is even higher on individual brands to develop fresh, relevant copy that drives sales and social media engagement.

So how do you plan to stand out next year now that thousands of companies are dedicating serious resources to content?

Fine-Tune Your Content Marketing Strategy

The following strategies outline a few ways to keep your content marketing strategy as unique and engaging as possible:

1. Next Level Content Marketing: Going Beyond the Blog

Content Marketing Straining To Reach Next Level - Eminent SEOToday, blogging is the go-to strategy when it comes to content generation. This straightforward medium can become quite dynamic in the right hands.

As studies have shown, more brands are becoming adept at developing blog posts that communicate the right message to their customers. That means your company will need to start thinking about new options for content generation beyond the traditional methods as you head into 2018.

Yes, you’ve put a lot of time and resources into mastering social media, blogging, newsletters and whitepapers. Taking your content to the next level does not mean abandoning these efforts; you’ll still want to keep generating dynamic blog and social content.

However, it’s equally important that your company start devising new ways to leverage these skills to stand out from your competition.

For example, some companies have elevated their blog and email newsletters into something more akin to a full-blown publication. Food Processing and Food 52 are two instances of publishers that have transformed their newsletters to have the look and feel of a magazine, rather than just another disposable email message.

By leveraging subject matter experts in your network, dedicating time to developing regular featured content and your knowledge of customer pain points, your brand could create consistent resources that provide audiences with in-depth information about your industry and your business.

These are just a few of the many ways your company can elevate its content creation strategy in 2018. The sooner your team starts brainstorming a new approach, the better.

2. Leverage Transparency: Kill Two Birds with One Stone

Max Breaking The Fourth Wall Shattering Glass - Eminent SEOWith data breaches and digital scams in the news on a regular basis, today’s clients want to feel like they can trust the brands they work with. One of the easiest ways to establish a connection with potential customers is to let them peek behind the curtain.

Transparency is more important to customers than ever. The companies that are able to provide the inside look that clients are looking for will be more effective in building important, long-term connections with those same customers.

Now, what does that have to with your content strategy for 2018? If you’re willing to think outside the box, the push for transparency could very well be the solution your brand needs.

First, develop a long-term strategy for increasing transparency across the company, both between the brand and customers and between leadership and the rest of the employees.

Next, start documenting the progress of these transparency efforts. Not only does this approach help your staff stay accountable, it also generates a bevy of material that can be turned into eye-catching content.

Here are a few more ways your transparency implementation can double as trust-building content for your customers:

  • Host digital Q&A sessions that answer customer questions and address any ethical concerns.
  • Develop a series of blog posts that track, describe and discuss the results of new transparency initiatives.
  • Develop a case study that analyzes and reviews company-wide transparency efforts.

3. Copy and Video: Hire a Specialist Who Does Both

Copy Writer And Video Specialist Who Can Do Both - Eminent SEOIn 2018, everyone will looking for ways to implement video into their content marketing strategy. Few, however, will find an effective way to integrate video into their content strategy.

The difference? Consider the advantage of posting video content that relates to or even directly refers to the written content on the same page.

YouTube personalities have become adept at breaking the fourth wall on the Internet, physically gesturing in their videos toward buttons and special offers that exist on the page. They also dedicate time to verbal calls to action that encourage viewers to follow certain links once the video has ended. Why can’t you pull off the same tricks with your content?

The most efficient way to get this type of project off the ground would be to have the same writer develop copy and related scripts. This way, there should be cohesive tone and messaging from one medium to another.

Placing irrelevant videos on content pages can just end up distracting your viewers, after all.

The possibilities for leveraging video and content together are endless. Ultimately, your goal is to provide visitors with content and engagement they’ve never seen before. If you can execute uniquely exciting video, visual and written content, you put yourself at a major advantage going into next year.

Think Bigger than Your Competition

2018 is all about thinking outside the box and utilizing the content marketing strategies you’ve learned to subvert expectations. The longer the content marketing game plays out, the better everyone is going to get at it. So keep mastering new moves!

Enjoy what you just read and want to keep learning? Check out a few more of the entertaining and insightful content marketing blog articles that Eminent SEO has to offer. Remember, the quickest way to innovate is to continue absorbing solutions and strategic tips like these.

Feel Free to Comment Below:
What Are Your New Plans for Content Marketing in 2018?

Avatar for Remy Albillar

Remy Albillar

As a content writer at Eminent SEO, I specialize in producing high-quality copy for a long list of digital mediums, including websites, emails, blogs and social media. I got my career started right out of college producing SEO-driven content for a marketing agency based in Tucson, AZ. I’ve since worked as a copywriter within numerous industries. I’ve written the first half of a personal memoir and earned my master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

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How to Optimize Your B2B Website for Conversions

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Optimize Your B2B for Better Website Conversions

What Are B2B Website Conversions?

B2B (business to business) website conversions have become a common marketing tool for many companies. This has been propelled by rising access to the internet globally and the need to increase market penetration for businesses.

A conversion in the context of digital marketing is the rate at which those visiting your website provide you with an opportunity to market to them by filling out your digital forms. Through the forms, visitors share their contact info with you and confirm that they understand you may use the information to market your product(s) and services to them in the future.

Site Visitors to Conversions Funnel Illustration

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What Is the Importance of Having a B2B Website For Your Business?

Businesses are endlessly trying to build their presence online as more and more people are able to access the internet globally. If you aim to develop and grow a successful business online, you can find some of the resources provided for free online.

The Benefits of a B2B Website Include:

  • You are able to increase your customer base: A B2B website makes it possible for your business to analyze customer trends and incorporate strategies to convert new visitors into customers. More conversions will translate to more sales and eventually an increase in overall sales.
  • It helps improve your marketing strategies and overall brand: This becomes possible when you develop pages and products that meet the individual needs of each potential customer. This strategy is critical in increasing the conversion rate for your business.
  • It makes your business scalable: B2B websites will make it possible for your business to improve its marketing strategies and align them with market demands. This can be achieved through creation of new sales channels for emerging market segments.

What Steps Can You Take to Optimize Your B2B Website Conversions?

Closed Won Vs Closed Lost Opportunities Ratio Infographic

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The adoption of internet marketing has been booming as its efficiency, cost and effectiveness have proven to be worthwhile, and seemingly every business is investing in this new trend. Digital marketing can be effective if you are able to direct traffic to your website to convert those visitors into customers.

What Are the Strategies You Should Use to Optimize Your B2B Website Conversions?

  • You should rework your product or service offers: Every person enjoys getting a product or service at a reasonable or discounted rate. You should look at the offers you are providing to your potential customers and evaluate whether they are the best deals you can provide. You could also come up with other ways to make the offer more tempting. Under the offers you are providing, determine whether you have positioned them well on your website; offers should highlight the best deal for you to attract more customers. If the offer price does not seem captivating to customers, consider revising it.
  • You should focus more on your product’s benefits and not features: The common mistake that you are likely to make is putting an emphasis on the product’s features without focusing on the benefits of these features. To avoid the mistake, you have to design your business based on the solutions or insights that you intend to bring your customers. Your product’s features will have little meaning to a potential customer compared to highlighting the benefits of those features or the customers’ problems that the product could solve. You should use the product’s features as an attention grabber that attracts more people to your website, and the benefits of your product should play the role of converting website visitors into customers.
  • You should target high-quality leads: Focusing on a wide range of leads may not necessarily lead to more conversions. Instead, it may even increase the cost of marketing. You should always ensure that the methods that you employ currently to generate leads should be able to attract the right people. You can have a higher conversion rate if you are able to funnel more high-quality leads without making any changes to the marketing strategies. You should always analyze your previous target market, see its achievements and then determine if there is a need for improvement to make it more efficient.
  • You should consider retargeting your audience: Many businesses always want to increase financial spending to increase the number of leads, although this strategy is not always effective. You should consider directing more finances to those who have already traveled partially into your sales funnel, as this increases the chances of achieving more conversions. Focusing on retargeting marketing strategies is likely to be persuasive to those already in the sales funnel and increase their conversion into customers over time.
  • Always watch what competitors are doing: Changing your strategies can be determined by what your competitors are doing, and this can help you know the new trend in your industry. If you think your competitors are getting it right, you should consider monitoring how they walk their leads down the sales funnel, their pricing strategies, their webpage designs, and other marketing strategies. To know more about your competitors’ strategies, you can always follow them on social media, sign up for their newsletters and frequently visit their websites.
  • Ensure that your customers can trust you: Online marketing is based on trust and how you earn it from your potential and current customers. Getting a stranger to trust you can be a cumbersome affair. Building trust requires you to work on your credibility over time. You can increase your credibility through providing customer testimonials on your website, listing your previous customers and providing satisfactory guarantees as a way of earning your potential customer’s trust. This is likely to lead to more conversions over time, as more people will start having trust in your business.

What Are the Limitations of B2B Website Conversions?

Challenges That B2B Marketers Face Survey Chart

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  • Always remember that high B2B website conversion rates do not translate to high performance: Rates and actual numbers can differ greatly. As such, you should focus on the raw numbers more than the rates. For instance, if you have low visits and conversions are high, the conversion rate can be high while the sales numbers are relatively low. Meanwhile, someone with high visits can have low conversion rates, but the sales will still be substantial.
  • This method assumes that all visits to your website have the potential to convert, and this can be misleading: You are likely to get new visits to your website from people who do not intend to purchase a certain product but are interested in the product’s features.
  • Chances are that when you grow your site, the conversion rates will decrease: When your site grows, the number of visits will increase and the number of sales will increase, but the conversion rate is likely to go down.

Many firms have come to appreciate the role of technology in product and service marketing, since a majority of traditional strategies are no longer reliable. You can take the steps listed above to optimize your B2B website and ensure that you achieve high conversions.

Avoid These Landing Page Mistakes

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Note: 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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4 Ways Website Redesign Offers Spooky Levels of ROI for Your Business

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Website Redesign Spooky Levels Of ROI Witch - Eminent SEO

With Halloween just around the corner, creepy costumes and spooky decorations will temporarily be the norm. For business owners, however, the scariest part of the Halloween season will come when they review their website’s traffic data. If a company is drawing in fewer leads and converting fewer customers each month, then it’s probably time to make major changes to the website.

In fact, the potential ROI for a proper website transformation is so staggering that it’s a little scary. Consider that, on average, users typically engage with a website for 10 to 20 seconds before moving on to another site or back to their search engine. If your website design is not optimized to present a value proposition within that 10-to-20-second window, then chances are your company is missing out on a significant amount of potential traffic.

Improving design to account for user behaviors will considerably improve the value of a company’s website. Look to make changes sooner than later, lest your company’s current website become a terrifying example of poor investments.

1. Exorcise Ghosts of Marketing’s Past

Ghosts of Marketings Past - Eminent SEOVengeful spirits are a common theme during the Halloween season. Typically, these pesky poltergeists target those who wronged them in life, hoping to find closure. Outdated marketing strategies pose a similar problem for business owners, especially when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO).

That’s because Google and other search engines have continuously updated and refreshed the algorithms they use to analyze websites and rank them for relevancy. Several SEO strategies, such as duplicating content or overstuffing keywords, will now actually hurt a website’s performance on Google.

Unless a company wants their website to be haunted by unethical marketing strategies, it may be time for the entire website to undergo a major overhaul.

Tips of Terror: A new website design means that your company will need to reconsider how the navigation of the website is organized. Take this opportunity to cut out extraneous pages and make your menu more navigable for the user.

2. Raise SEO from the Grave

Raise SEO From The Grave Hand To Moon - Eminent SEOZombies, skeletons and other undead creatures often appear in spooky stories. While bringing back someone from the dead is impossible, fixing a company’s dying SEO performance is nearly as difficult.

Even worse, if your company has not developed a targeted content strategy, mastered the nuances of metadata and alt tags or earned links from established authorities in your industry, then you can mark your SEO strategy as dead on arrival.

A website redesign is a perfect opportunity to rethink not only what your website looks like, but also what it does to covert leads into customers and rank well in search engine results. That’s because the design of the website is directly related to SEO as well.

A well-designed website uses precise, organized copy and appealing graphic design to guide visitors further along the marketing funnel. Images should help keep a customer’s attention and prevent them from bouncing to a competitor’s website. By piquing a visitor’s interest, a newly designed website can play an important role in improving a company’s search engine results.

Tips of Terror: The rise of voice search technology will have a major impact on SEO in the near future. The ubiquity of mobile phones means that voice search-capable tech is getting into the hands of more consumers every day. Marketers must consider how to rank for phrases that are closer to conversational speech than traditional search engine inquiries.

3. Dispel Negative Feedback

Negative Feedback Witch With Book - Eminent SEOIf you plan on battling the forces of darkness, it helps to know how to dispel a curse. In the digital era, curses appear in the form of disgruntled or unsatisfied customers posting in very public forums. Whether that be in the comment section of a company’s blog or on a consumer review site like Yelp, these customer complaints are highly visible and can have a significantly negative impact on a company’s brand.

More often than not, it is impossible to make these negative reviews, ratings or comments disappear. Companies must instead earn an overwhelming volume of positive feedback to balance the scale. A flood of affirming comments pushes negative feedback into the background, painting these complaints as outliers.

What’s a highly effective way to make a great first impression on new potential customers? If you guessed “a website redesign,” then you guessed correctly!

In addition to making your website attractive to new visitors, a redesign also signals to previous visitors that a company has committed itself to improvement.

The launch of an updated website can also be leveraged as a marketing opportunity. Consider reaching out to customers or partners who have not touched base with you recently by announcing your revamped web presence. A successful website redesign can even spearhead an entire rebranding effort.

Tips of Terror: There are times when a string of negative customer interactions or public relations snafus make it impossible to revive a brand. In cases like these, it’s best to stop pushing the boulder up the hill and start working on a strategic rebranding effort. A fresh, optimized website will be a central part of this rebrand strategy. A new brand name may not hurt, either.

4. Carve Out Your Special Niche

Carve Out Your Niche Pumpkin Jack-o-Lantern - Eminent SEOHalloween isn’t all gloom and ghouls. Pumpkin carving is a great opportunity for kids and adults alike to show their originality. When competing in a congested market space, it can be difficult to appear original next to myriad rival companies that provide similar services.

Of course, providing top-notch work and a high level of service quality will encourage your customers to keep coming back. But it’s going to be a website’s visually appealing and user-friendly functionality that converts curious visitors into first-time customers.

If you need to stand out from the crowd, a memorable website that encourages visitors to make a purchase decision is your best bet for attracting new business.

More importantly, rebranding and marketing efforts help a company to establish itself as a uniquely talented player in the industry. Branding is successful when customers believe that a company has a one-of-a-kind service to provide. A newly updated website goes a long way toward convincing customers that this is the case.

Tips of Terror: Successfully developing a website that reflects a company’s unique mission and values is a challenge in of itself. This task is even more difficult when these goals and values are unclear. Take time to understand the company’s personality before starting a comprehensive website redesign.

Tips for Summoning Help to Your Side

If your company decides to deploy a new marketing strategy, major changes to the website are more than likely going to be a part of this refresh.

Your company will get its full ROI by identifying digital marketing best practices and developing solutions to incorporate these strategies into the site’s redesign. That process starts by reviewing helpful digital marketing resources like the ones found in our informative blog.

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Remy Albillar

As a content writer at Eminent SEO, I specialize in producing high-quality copy for a long list of digital mediums, including websites, emails, blogs and social media. I got my career started right out of college producing SEO-driven content for a marketing agency based in Tucson, AZ. I’ve since worked as a copywriter within numerous industries. I’ve written the first half of a personal memoir and earned my master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

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