SEO can make or break a brand well sort off, not to be dramatic but SEO does have a huge impact on small businesses and in this blog, we try to help you understand exactly why is that. Read on…
What is SEO?
With over 90% of online content created in the past 3 years, digital marketing heavily relies on tech that balances between getting its customers the most accurate content and its client justified visibility.
As technology & algorithms evolves, search engines also upgrade their tech making the need to be in sync and up-to-date with your SEO efforts more important than ever if you want to make the most of your web and digital media efforts.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization“. Every time you search for something online and visit a website, you are counted as “traffic” for that website and the search that lead you to the results are called SERPs which stands for “Search Engine Result Page” here content with relevant information is ranked in an order of most accurate to least accurate. SEO helps create such content that helps your page rank on the first page of search engine results there by creating traffic and create awareness on your brand. Bots called “spiders” crawl through the web pages to analyse and rank content based on keywords and SEO that best suit the search made by the customer.
In simple words, SEO creates keywords and content that bots called spiders identify as valid and accurate information for the person searching for something online and then provide a list of such web pages on SERPs through which you access the website thereby getting counted as traffic to that website.
What are the Types of SEO Formats?
Most people think SEO only applies for written content, but that’s not true. Written content is one of the may different forms of SEO that are available for your business. All of them are listed below:
1.Written SEO– as they name suggests, it’s the content on the website and blogs that is optimized to meet the search engine bots’ criteria. Most importantly, content should have well placed keywords, accurate data and original content so that SERPs can feature it on their first page and this way the website will not be penalized for plagiarism and copied content. If content is copied, the search engine will recognize this and penalize the website with lower ranking and a search engine ban.
2. Voice SEO- with voice searches making up to 50% of the total searches online, it can be considered an important step to optimize your content to stay relevant to voice searches.
The reason written and voice search optimization are different is mentioned below:
- Voice searches are conversational– unlike written search which is shorter and keywords based, voice searches are made by people talking to their search assistant thereby asking for a full question instead of just keyword phrases.
- Voice users want results– unlike other searches these searches are aimed at immediate results. When you optimized your voice search add a call to action button since users may or may not visit your website but a call to action button to book an appointment or call the office of a local business will directly create lead generation instead of users going through their website and then contacting you.
- Voice searches are local– 22% of the voice searches show users look for local content, which is great for any business trying to boost its local presence.
3. Image/Video SEO– image search is another way through which visual SEOs are changing. For any written content it is always a good idea to add some sort of visual content to your blog or website.
Keep in mind the following tips-
- Add a high-quality image / video
- Try to use original image in place of stock, add captions to videos
- If you have to opt for stock search for more genuine pictures
- Compress the picture or video so it loads faster on the website
- Add descriptions
- Add meta titles
- Use relevant images to content
- Apply image responsiveness so it matches all screen sizes (use srcset)
- Add image alt text
- Provide context to your image
Different types of SEO
Mainly there are 4 types of SEO that a business must incorporate for a well all-rounded SEO approach:
- On page SEO – any technique that can be applied directly on to your website to improve your ranking is referred to as on page or on-site SEO. Some of which are Keyword, meta data, alt Text, https/SSL, title tag, title tag, URL structure, internal linking.
- Off page SEO – off page or off-site SEO are factors outside of the website,like back-links and social media that have created awareness about the website. Some techniques of off page SEO are:
- Back-links (links to your website on other blogs and websites)
- Social media
- Influencer reach
- Guest authors
- Brand mentions
- Technical SEO– this refers to method that can help a website perform better, helping it make easy for crawlers (bots for search engines like spiders) to go through websites and help them rank better. It also includes making a website faster/ easier, help bots for a search engine understand it better.
- White and Black hat SEO – often SEO practices can be classified as black and white hat practices. While white hat SEO aims at guideline accepted approach to SEOs. Black hat breaks search engine rules in order to get higher and better SEO ranking.
Black hat SEO is aimed at bots and crawlers and doesn’t count as organic results. White hat SEO is aimed at a more human approach to create organic and high traffic for website through human’s interaction as it’s priority.
What are the best SEO practices?
Now that you are aware of SEO and how to utilize it for your business here are some best practices to incorporate:
- Research your keywords
- Optimize your website design
- Create compelling content (blogs, website landing pages)
- Add a good description and title
- Add meta data
- Understand your audience
- Add off page and on page SEO
- Add images and videos
- Add a call to action with high ranking web pages on the website.
What does SEO Do for My Business?
A small business can gain better target audience and crate an online brand Image through the right SEO approach. As a long-term approach here are the advantages of SEO for a small business:
- Higher business visibility
- Better traffic
- User friendly content
- Turns traffic to customers 80% better than any other technique
- Primary source of leads
- Greater user experience
- Brand credibility
- Encourages local visitors to physical business outlet
- Cost effective
- Small businesses are able to compete better through SEO.
Stats for SEO
- SEOs get the highest amount of organic traffic to a website.
- SEO drives 15% conversion rates.
- 75% users don’t scroll past the first page of a search engine result page.
- Search engines drive 10x more traffic to e-commerce sites.
- Sites that make the first page of search results hold 1890 meta words.
- There has been a 30% rise is voice-based search in the past year.
- Mobile searches have seen a steady rise and by the end of 2020 in the USA alone, 221 million users will search through their mobile devices.
While large business houses have a disaster management protocol and team in place proving that companies that have been around for longer have an idea of how to navigate through a downturn in their industry or market.
The same for a small business, can be a challenging task. Given that small businesses are usually single-person entities or local enterprises. Knowing the exact protocol becomes all the more important in order to respond during and after the crisis situation.
Just like the 2007-08 Global Recession, the current CoronaVirus threatens to bring another global financial downturn. In this article MarketinGrow provides a tool kit that small businesses can apply during crisis management and after.
The Crisis Tool Kit.
A crisis Tool kit is nothing but a list of tasks and approaches that a business can lay down to navigate through a natural or unnatural disaster that may have caused a loss in their business.
- Research and Asses the situation
Know about your customers and your local market, how will the situation adversely affect them and the impact it may have on your business. Research on how long will the impact lasts as per government and expert opinion. This gives you an idea about planning the short term and long-term plans for your business accordingly.
- Look for government subsidies and help
In most situations, banks and governments offer support to small businesses by offering subsidies and lower interest rates in a time of crisis provided that the crisis has affected a large number of small businesses.
- Outline a crisis management plan
Once you have an idea about the financial impact of the situation on your business, outline a protocol your business can effectively follow-
- Educate stakeholders and customers- during a large-scale crisis panic spreads easily, use your platform to assures and contact partners, leads and customers to educate them on the crisis and ways to manage it. Since the crisis would have affected a larger group of people staying in touch with your customers and partners assuring them that the business has a plan of action ready and in place helps in building trust in your brand.
- Show empathy – if the situation has affected a larger group of people or an entire community reach out and drop a mail or post share and support the community and tell them what your business is doing in the given situation. Whether it is discounted prices to help consumers or community outreach programs let your customers know you care.
- Get the core team together- for United efforts meet with departmental managers or heads to make sure the core team of the business is on one page this includes the HR, Finance, Marketing and Administration.
Adapt to the Situation and Improvise
If you are a small business, chances are the effect of the crisis can have a severe impact on your business. Staying positive and adapting to the situation is one of the first things that will help your business get through the situation. For example, in the current situation where most businesses are shut and customers are quarantined figure out ways to engage with customers and lead instead of a sales pitch, offer services at a lower price or through other means that help customers or B2B services survive the crisis.
Improvise and Survive
The silver lining to the current situation is that you may be unable to physically meet or interact with your customers but that doesn’t mean “out of sight is out of mind”. In fact, it’s very much the opposite of that. There are a number of ways you can navigate a rough patch given you have the right marketing resources and approach some of them are:
Maintain a media presence
The major advantage businesses today have is that they can stay active on social media or through e-mail marketing and websites and pursue their customers directly. Here you can clearly share their visions, goals and past achievements and answer customers queries through various social media platforms. Follow the below-given tips for a better media presence:
- Educate your customers about your digital presence.
- Stay available on WhatsApp, we chat, Facebook messenger and Skype or Zoom to make your business more accessible to its clients.
- List out helpful posts and tips that your business can offer.
- Be a Good Samaritan and help your community (it’s Goodwill for your business).
- Don’t send sales pitch E-mails that spam, send relatable useful content to your readers.
Start an E-commerce platform with a payment gateway incorporates – e-commerce platforms are a must-have for any small business. Are you’re a cookie maker? Or a hairstylist? Or even a tailor. E-commerce can offer custom websites some even with AI integration to help understand what your customer is looking for and help to make a purchase without leaving the comfort of their home. This also helps a business make a better profit since it can offer a variety of services based on the preferences of its customers.
Start a blog
Not selling a product? No problem talks about your past achievements and how your service can enrich your customers’ life and make it easier. A well-written blog is as good as a brand ambassador or a great ad for your business
Promote your business through social media. Or just engage with followers.
No matter what age group your customer falls in, everyone has a phone or some level of social media presence. Engaging with customers and followers can bring in new customers too. You can have an online shop on Facebook or Instagram and link the same as a shoppable post to your pictures. You can promote your services or see what your competitors are offering and up your antic.
While the given situation isn’t the best to be in, we understand it can be a testing time for small businesses and local entrepreneurs. But with the right approach and a positive mindset, this too shall pass.
From everyone here at the MarketinGrow team, we wish our readers health, success and safety.
Earlier this year, One of the top predictions by Marketing Experts for 2020 was the Popularity of Video Content.
Even if we keeps the stats aside, how often have your found yourself binge watching videos or an innocent DIY search that ended up resulting in you watching cat videos at 3am? We have all been through that rabbit hole and that’s exactly what causes video content to do better!
Leading online search platforms like Google supporting video ads, while social media giants such as Facebook/Instagram & even Twitter launching their own short video features (stories and fleets respectively) this prediction seems to have materialized into reality sooner than expected. No surprise here, that given the current pandemic and longer state-imposed lock downs in place, a lot of us have been spending more time online and on social media in general. This has marketers all over the world hailing Video Marketing as their holy grail to win in terms of marketing strategies this year.
In this article we help you understand basics of video marketing, how to create a good strategy as well as video trends for 2020! Read on.
The rise of video content
When the era of digitization started off, it started off with curiosity, sharing a common interest and the need to stay connected. Decades later the radio has turned into a podcast and TV evolved into streaming and binge-watching. But what has not changed is the love for quick entertainment, engagement and immersive experience which still very much rules the way customers connect to brands, products and services.
Thanks to technology and the availability of the internet on all our devices, the online time spent by an average person has quadrupled.
It’s no longer a secret that video content demand has seen a steady rise. Effectively, creating a huge opportunity for both video content makers and video marketing.
If you still haven’t incorporated video content as a part of your marketing strategy maybe it’s time to change that.
First, lets talk about What’s Trending in Terms of Video Marketing?
For a long period, YouTube has held the title when it comes to being the most-watched video platform. With its audience mainly between the ages of 18-49 years, it also holds the title of “platform with the highest reach” compared to cable networks.
But it’s not the only player in the game. While TikTok is gaining popularity all over the globe it’s still a few steps away from being able to help companies and influencers monetize the way Facebook and Instagram do.
Meanwhile, Facebook and Instagram have launched stories, live streaming, embedded videos and even shoppable video ads which have been gaining popularity among its users.
Take a look at some of the video marketing trends for 2020:
- Video shoppable post
- Facebook live videos
- Interactive videos (AR / VR /3D)
- 1 on 1 video experience (google hangouts, zoom, Facebook/ insta live q&a)
- Vlogging (aka video blogs, popular on social media and YouTube)
- Video ads
- Educational videos (DIY, training or Q&A’s)
Now you may want to know Can Blogs Have Videos?
Absolutely !! In-fact we at MarketinGROW encourage our clients (irrespective of their company size) to create and share video content on their website along with their blogs and social media platforms. It’s Quick, Informative as well as engaging.
What are Video Ads? Do they perform better?
In the early 90’s-00’s while television was still a major source of entertainment and commercial ads, only second to movies and blockbuster our streaming godfather. Television ads were still in demand.
But with the average person spending more time on their phone compared to watching tv. Opting for faster broadband compared to tv subscriptions was a clear sign that large brands had to find a new way to get to their customers.
“According to Nielsen ratings, TV viewing has been dropping about 10% per quarter.
And thus ads on social media and searches started to boom.
This brought in a unique opportunity for small players as well. The growth in social media and frequent online searches meant with a few tweaks a small player could directly compete and in some cases even win over their larger counterparts. Thereby, providing equal opportunity for business of any size to reach out to its audience.
Now to the second part do Google Ads and Video ads in general perform better ? short answer it depends on your goal. If you are looking for engagement and video ads are better but in case you are looking for reach and to remain easily scannable image ads would be a better option. Although, in our experience what suits your business is only determined by your audience and target market preferences.
SERPs like Google and Bing had already begun testing video ads in 2017 and now most searches on google immediately show up a related video. With audiences and search engines both showing an interest in video content it’s no surprise companies large and small are trying to monetize and create a niche for their brand through video ads.
How to create an effective video marketing content?
Creating videos for ads or as a brand content has been easier than ever before. With the right vision in mind, a marketer can convert company videos into a lead generating tool on its own. Given the current scenario where social media marketing and content marketing has redefined how we see marketing strategies. Branding and storytelling have taken the spotlight. Propelled by humanizing and adding empathy to your product and services allowed the business to connect with its customers in a meaningful fashion. Especially now where due to pandemic empathy is what will dictate how your customers see you.
Take note of these few points on how to create good video content for marketing
- Make it informative, share your story;
- Show products or services utilization;
- Showcase customer feedback, testimonials;
- Demonstrate product usage;
- Show the people behind the screen, introduce the team and staff;
- Answer customer FAQs on live sessions &
- Add an informative video as a banner on your website.
To conclude, do a simple search, say for example look up “how to make Gold leaf art” and the first 5 results would be a video. With search engines looking to provide value for their users’ time and artificial intelligence learning from your behavior online be it on Facebook or Google. Your customers are sure to be shown video results or ads as a part of their daily internet browsing experience (simply based on search keywords they type). So much that they may not even realize it! And that is exactly why you will need video marketing and content for your business to stay relevant.
Need more help creating good video graphics and content in Brampton, Mississauga, and Toronto? MarketinGROW offers graphic and video marketing along with its digital marketing expertise for your business. Book an appointment or take a digital marketing assessment to know what your business needs today!