TopRank Internet Marketing News
Ask an Expert Section
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 | Filed under Ask an Expert.
Ask TopRank® Online Marketing your questions about SEO, social media, blog marketing and online PR. We’ll feature one question and answer each month.
This month, we answer a question we hear often: How do I create great content for boring products?
Great question, content creation is a struggle for many businesses. If you aren’t convinced your business is interesting to write about, you’re not alone! For this very reason, the first key element in the planning and creation of interesting, relevant content is a change in your mindset.
We often think about our key selling points and unique product features as the things we want consumers to know about our product. Are you listening to your audience to discover what it is they want to know?
Friday, April 12th, 2013 | Filed under Ask an Expert.
This is an excellent and frequently asked question. Your customers/clients may include dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of unique individuals or other businesses. Beyond direct feedback, how do we get to know our customers better in order to meet their needs with digital content?
Persona development is a great first step. You may start with just three or four buyer personas and build out more as you gather additional data. These profiles help identify who the buyer is, what is important to them, why they are considering your product or service, which questions they need answered in order to influence their decision, and ultimately, what problem your company will solve for them.
We shared sample B2B buyer personas this month at Online Marketing Blog, including the Methodical, Spontaneous, and Humanistic customers. Building out these personas requires insights from your own company data, including site analytics, social sentiment analysis and analytics, purchase or shopping cart information, survey data and more. If you can get your hands on it, it can be used to shed light on your customers and how you can better suit their needs.
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 | Filed under Ask an Expert.
This is a challenge that plagues businesses of all sizes, across all verticals. There are longstanding myths that social doesn’t work well for B2B companies, or that a company must be huge in order to attract enough social fans to see any sort of worthwhile engagement.
Thankfully, both assumptions are false. A research report out this month shows that many of the top brands in social media are, in fact, B2B companies, including Honeywell International, Oracle, and Microsoft. Business to business networking is not reserved for LinkedIn; companies are finding success on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and even Pinterest.
Small businesses also have a fighting chance; one of the companies featured in a recent Facebook business success story was The English Cheesecake Company. This bakery used their Facebook Page as both a promotional tool and a customer service channel, increasing their fanbase from 2,000 to over 23,000 people.
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 | Filed under Ask an Expert, New @TopRank.
Industry analysts and media often focus on which online marketing is more effective: paid search ads (PPC), SEO, social media marketing…
The truth is each of these tactics can be effective for a business. Used together as part of a holistic online marketing strategy, they complement one another and become an incredibly powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal.
Why use PPC ads?
Pay-per-click ads are especially helpful for:
- Getting your brand in front of people already searching for information
- Tapping into previously undiscovered market segments
- Connecting with people ready to make a purchase
- Lead generation
- Launching new products or services
- Directing potential buyers to pages optimized for their search query deep within the site.
Once a potential customer clicks on ad, smart marketers will have them sign up for an email newsletter or follow the brand on a social account. The first interaction was paid; maximize that investment with an opportunity to connect on an ongoing basis and build a relationship.
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 | Filed under Ask an Expert, New @TopRank.
Search engine optimization is often entirely too dedicated to text and text-based web strategies – blogs, articles, webpages full of information. But some of our most shareable, relatable content comes in the form of images and video.
How often have you searched for an image online and couldn’t find it? Or had a hard time finding an audio file? You can make sure that doesn’t happen to your videos, images and other multimedia assets with some good SEO best practices. Below are guides to help you increase exposure to your images, videos and audio with SEO.
With the amount of images most websites contain, image optimization should be a priority for all marketers. When optimizing images for search engines, pay close attention to the following. File names. Name your image in accordance with your keyword focus and stay away from generic names.
- Good: Image-Search-Engine-Optimization.jpg
Friday, October 12th, 2012 | Filed under Ask an Expert, New @TopRank.
Like an email list can be purchased, so can social media followers. The practice of buying fans, friends, or followers has the effect of making it appear as if someone has a larger audience and is perhaps more respected than they really are.
However, as with email lists, social media followers should not be bought. Not only is it not best practices to work with a purchased list that is likely full of unqualified leads and unmanned accounts, the idea of buying Twitter followers essentially undermines the purpose of social media marketing. Let’s use Twitter as an example.
There are unfortunately some unscrupulous “vendors” out there that will take advantage of Twitter users longing for a bigger audience. They will tout their fake followers as an easy way for you to attract real followers. It’s just a tactic to get you to part with your cash.
Monday, September 10th, 2012 | Filed under Ask an Expert, New @TopRank.
Optimize For Your Audience
One word: Optimization. Right, I know, everyone is talking about optimization, but we’re talking about not just optimizing for search engines, but optimizing for customers.
What is optimization?
optimize (verb): to make as perfect, effective, or functional as possible (Merriam-Webster)
Optimizing your online content, whether it’s your webpage, a blog post, social message, online profile, article, press release, photo or other content, involves weaving in keywords and phrases that provide solutions for the business problems your customers are looking for help solving. Synchronizing your keywords and content with both your customers’ needs and search engine algorithms can grow your audience and increase exposure to potential new clients.
Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 | Filed under Ask an Expert, New @TopRank.
At some point, most brand with an online presence will have to deal with negative feedback. It could be in the form of a social media message, a comment on your blog or a Google review. It could be once or twice, or maybe even a steady stream of criticism.
It is essential that you approach negative feedback with a level head and the right attitude. Also, don’t discredit the poster’s opinion. And even if your in a position to do it, do not delete the comment. Think of every complaint as a learning experience and an opportunity to change a customer’s mind.
How can you best turn that negative into a positive? With the right response, you can not only address the unhappy customer’s issues but possibly turn them, and others, into loyal customers.
Thursday, June 28th, 2012 | Filed under Ask an Expert.
To repurpose content basically means to take something that you have created and convert it for use in another format. This content creation and marketing strategy offers a variety of benefits for busy marketers seeking to enhance their online efforts, including saving time and money while extending the life of content and giving you a new excuse to highlight your most successful posts. It also presents the opportunity to appeal to the different content consumption preferences of online customers – while many like to read, some want to see images while others are attracted to video, and if you don’t have the content they want, they may click away.
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 | Filed under Ask an Expert.
For many small businesses looking to expand, the question of how to target online customers in the local geographic market arises. You may be unsure of where to start, and the process can quickly become overwhelming.
However, the optimizing for your local customers may not be as difficult as you would think. Below are 6 steps you can follow to enhance your local marketing efforts:
#1 – Keyword Research
Thorough planning is the best way to begin any strategy, and online marketing always starts with keyword research. To do your own, simply research industry-specific terms plus geo-targeted terms. If you are an auto dealer in Chicago, for example, research the term “Chicago auto dealer.” Then, replace the word “Chicago” with the names of surrounding suburbs.