Search Engine Optimization – How to rank higher on search engine pages

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

local seo socratic sbc

 

SEO or Search Engine Optimization refers to optimizing ones website to rank highly on search engines, for users to easily find a certain business. Local SEO is for optimizing local business for local searches. For example if you focus on South Beach Miami means that whenever a user search for particular business in South Beach Miami, your business’ website will be on the top page of search engines pages.

 

Content marketing and Search engine optimization

Content marketing on the other hand, is one of the most essential part of Search Engine Optimization or SEO, it is essential to create valuable content that will lead back to your website and business niche, content that is designed and attract users ultimately generate leads and sales.

Blogging is important

Keeping a blog is very important for business to be found and for users to engage. Most businesses have a strong online presence on a regular or even daily basis. Search engines identify unique and valuable contents and blog is the weapon to get seen online and even be a trend on social media. Keeping a blog and regularly update the contents will optimize your website for search engines.

Create a quality video and image

Content is not just words, instead content should be about everything that is written and posted or even displayed about a business or website. Image and videos are also an important part of content but most businesses tend to forget about this or at least prioritize it. However with the new technology, video and image tends to attract more readers and a larger audience along with a great title tag, Meta tags and description. Remember great keywords and local focus, both can improve search engine rankings.

Local business needs to cultivate online reviews

If you want to focus on attracting local clients, you need to focus on cultivating online (local) reviews. You can either hire SEO companies to handle your submission on local listings sites such as Yelp, Google Local, Yahoo Local and many more. You can add your business to these sites and ask your current clients to add a review on your business listing. The reviews you garner, the higher your business will rank when users search for your products and services in your area.

Social media is a must

When a business have a blog with great and valuable contents, the greatest way to promote your content is through social media sites, if your business is not on social media or active on social media sites, you are already losing 70 % of your potential customers to your competitors. Social media is a great tool to connect and engage with your potential clients or social media can be the key to building a brand and enhancing your local SEO effort.

According to Forbes magazine published in January 2015 written by Jason Demens, the biggest problem with local SEO efforts is inconsistency. This article is not referring to inconsistency of posting schedule or branding, rather the inconsistency of your business down on terms of local SEO is inconsistency of your NAP, Name, Address, Phone. Search engines such as Google are very detailed and accurate with it comes to the business’ NAP to categorize business, in which helps the Search Engines find its similar products, services or business name is searched. When there is inconsistency in Business NAP, the ranking can dramatically decrease. 

 

Roderick Hunnicutt

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com
www.socraticsbc.com

Business growth – The Impact of communication

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

Customer satisfaction is essential to maintaining the revenue and growth of a business, when a company has a poor customer communication methods, the company can be missing out on consumer feedback. The better the business owner and employees the importance of customer communication the more likely the company will able to assist the customers and repair the negative customer communication policies or practices.

Proactive customer communication

There are several stages to customer communication; those stages include initial purchase, retention and marketing existing clients. To get proactive communication in place that follows up after initial purchase to ensure customer satisfaction and to maintain contact with clients. Poor customer service after a purchase cannot lead to repeat purchase or recommendation.

Retention

Customer retention means that when customers call your company prompt and courteous service must be in place. Poor customer service and communication system where customers does allow to speak with a person will get frustrated and buy their products elsewhere.

Source of your revenue

Your customers are your source of revenue, if you do not ask your customers for opinion you cannot make your products better or get improvements or upgrades so you can you can increase sales. Poor communication does not allow the customers to input feedback.

Brand message of your company

In the mind of your customers, you get only to be one thing! That one matters the most in your company, that one thing is not found on your website, your online presence nor your employees, but your way on handling your customers questions and feedback. Your customers can help you with your business branding by spreading the good experience they have had with your company from products to customer service.

Rewarding your customers

Offering free goods, discounts and buying opportunities to regular customers shows that you value them and welcomes them. Giving out discounts on their next purchase is also a great way to make your customers come for more products. You can reward your customers in the most creative ways you can think of to make it more exciting for your customers.

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com
www.socraticsbc.com

Social media strategy: Word of mouth worthy

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

The best marketing for a brand is word of mouth marketing, once you have established your business online and have gotten a good reputation. You still need to go thoroughly with your posts, tweets and branding strategy. Word of mouth marketing can spread faster than any marketing techniques in social media. Which means that word of mouth marketing can either break or make your business?

What is word of mouth marketing

logo-header2

Word of mouth marketing is using your happy customers to promote your business, the aim in word of mouth marketing is to provide customers with such amazing and life affirming products and services that they can’t help but share with their friends, family and co-workers. Imagine how it will boost your visibility is one client share your brand to their friends and their friends share it to their friends and so the cycle goes on. Word of mouth marketing can be found in:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Online reviews
  • Blog posts
  • Brand mentions
  • Forums
  • Old school Chatter

Word of mouth marketing statistics

womgraphics

These numbers are pretty solid case for word of mouth marketing and it’s kind of cornerstone of every marketing strategies out there.

  • 20 to 50% are results of word of mouth marketing
  • 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends, family and co-workers
  • Only 10% of consumers trusts brands without reviews
  • 70% of consumers read reviews online
  • 80% of consumers are influenced by friends social share about a brand

5 steps to improve your word of mouth marketing

Social network

Word of mouth marketing isn’t magic, begin your journey with these simple 5 steps to improve your word of mouth marketing.

  1. Give people reasons to brag about your service and friendly staff

Word of mouth is about customers promoting your business to their set of social network, which means that you need to give your customers something interesting to share, might it be an informative article that you write on your blog or simply a product that that have changed their lives. With this obviously your products needs to be strong, and it is important that your staff interacting with your customers and clients is on top-notch.

  1. Be unique

One way to generate word of mouth marketing is to be unique and different from your competitors, you can do this in such a number of ways, and here are some examples:

–          One of a kind product

–          Happy staff

–          Unique company culture

–          Creative marketing ideas

People appreciate what is out of ordinary, if you have a bizarre brand identity you need to be proud of it.

  1. Be an industry expert

It is important for people to trust is you first establish yourself as industry expert through articles, podcasts, webinars and video tutorials. Being an expert requires a lot of effort from you as the business owner.

  1. Create a good name for yourself and your brand

People appreciate a business that is honest and fair, grow your reputation by being respectful of your customers and treating them right.

  1. Be active and engage on social media

Your business, brand, products and services may be well known on social media, but what people really appreciate is having the owner of the company to be seen on social media as well. You can develop a community by:

–          Encourage dialogue

–          Host contents

–          Host webinars

–          Organize events offline and online

–          Loyalty programs

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

How to avoid SEO mistakes on your Website

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

With the Google updates coming out, it is no wonder why there are many marketers and small business owners get their SEO wrong. It seems that it becomes more of a game of luck instead of a clear goal to be on the top of Search engines. Here are some ways to avoid common SEO mistakes, which we have noticed everyday on evaluating different websites.

2 different types of websites

website_field_options

There are 2 different types of websites, the one with WWW and the other without? Now you ask what the difference is. The problem with many hosting site, is when a website is developed and uploaded they do not take account the fact that some people prefer a www into their prefix to their site or not. A great portion of website actually works by typing the www or not. This can mean a lot for your SEO, some web developers do not take this as a mistake, but it actually is. If you website has been uploaded without the WWW, it means that you will have duplicate website like this: www.example.com and example.com. it is then very important that your website will be uploaded as www.example.com and not example.com

What you need to do:

Add a quick redirect script to your http.access file to redirect the www and non-www, this will mean that all your visitors, backlinks and search engines to the correct version of your website. Do not forget to update your Google webmaster tool account to set your preferred version of your website.

Reciprocal links are bad and should not be used

SEO-MISTAKES

This is a fairly old tactic, which means nothing to the new Google algorithm. Reciprocal links engaging in links exchange, which is not highly favored by Google. This will not help your SEO rankings, and this is one of the most common and biggest mistakes of most marketers today.

If you should link out to another website in reciprocal nature, you should always make sure that you make it a nofollow link , This will tell the Search engines not to follow the link and you have no responsibilities of people wanting to follow exchanged link.

Old fashioned Black hat SEO

images

Old fashion black hat is also not favored by Google anymore or any other major Search engine sites. Black hat SEO is, using 3rd party software like automatic link software to generate links, social likes, blog comments and other SEO bits into your website. The type of SEO found in Black Hat is very poor quality SEO trying to trick Google into thinking that the links or back links are natural. The problem here is that Google is smart enough to know that and will rank your website down or even worse penalize it, ban it and de-index it. These penalizations are time consuming and often very costly to resolve.

Conclusion

With technology advancing so quickly and internet is upgrading to load heavy websites, but do not forget your own website which is probably in your browsing history and cache so it loads quicker for you but how about your visitors browsing experience? While it may unnoticeable delay for some people, your website might be suffering in rankings due to being split second slower than your competitors. So check your website from Google PageSpeed if it scores on average, and see what improvements you can make for your website.

 

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

 

Marketing plan for Small Business start-up

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

Promotion seem to be a struggle for every Small business start-up, you are competing with a tons of others including major corporations. There are few things you need to do before you start your big promotion either online or offline. Here are some few tips on how to get you started on your marketing plan.

Know your products and services first

small_business_products_services_marketing

Off course you know your business well and you products and services. But there is more into knowing your product and how you can deliver the best marketing strategy to gain more clients your way. A big part of promotional campaign needs a big preparation. Lots of business owners plan and prepare their field before they even start their campaign.  Know your products by delivering the best images, description and keywords, you cannot jump right ahead on your campaign without preparing the tools to get the job done.

  1. Prepare your text and product image
  2. Test out your images on different browsers or ad campaigns
  3. Gather at least 3 testimonials from your current clients

Narrow down your target client and find your niche

design-market02

Know your brand and know what makes you different and special from the rest, you should have an official website with professional photos, image and design. You also need to narrow down your target clients and find your niche, think of all the options that you could offer them that they do not get from your competitors.

By each marketing campaign you need to define your target clients, for each product you promote your need to find your target clients. When creating content for promotion you also need to define your target audience and stick to your niche.

Make sure to have a consistent branding point

3362696

Consistent branding means that you need to dress up for your brand, not physically but with your website, image, color scheme etc. You need to be consistent to claim the brand that you promote. You will make more impact on your target client if you are consistent with your brand color, fonts and images. Consistent branding also means, updating your website, have professional photos on your site, biography, current events, social media info, mailing list and blog. These are the basic of consistent branding, it makes you look professional and your target clients need to have a place to bring traffic back to you.

Create goals and budget for your marketing

It is very important that you create goals and budget for your marketing campaign, how many clients do you want to reach within a month? How many products do you want to sell in a month? The next thing you might want to look at is how much is your budget for your marketing. Here are some  few questions you need to ask yourself before starting your big promotion:

  1. Number of sales
  2. Number of new clients
  3. Material costs
  4. Budget promo services
  5. Research budget
  6. Website and logo budget
  7. Offline advertising budget
  8. Budget on PR ( Press Release)
  9. Budget on Marketing or SEO outsourcing
  10. Budget on Digital distribution

Conclusion

These are the most important part of starting marketing for your small business, the key is to plan ahead and define your goals. You need more than just campaign for your small business and more than just branding tools, you need to always set goal on every marketing campaign you want to run.

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 344-7874
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

Track your social media marketing

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

We all love social media, its features and options to let us promote our brand and business in a fun and exciting way. The real challenge is to measure your success on Social media and how you can improve your social media marketing campaign. As much as you are having fun connecting with different people and trying to gain their trust to choose your products and services over your competitor, you still need to focus on your sole goal for your marketing campaign. One way to measure success on social media is metrics and ROI. Here are some few other things on how you can measure your success on your social media marketing campaign.

Social media is more than just strategy

statistics

Social media marketing is more than just a marketing strategy to promote your business and brand; it is more of interactions, engagement and information sharing. Do not forget this is the main goal of social media marketing; a good marketing will create integrated tools to support your overall business goals.

In order to have a successful and effective plan for your social media marketing, there should be more than just one person to handle your social media campaign.

How to track your success on social media

SocialMediaMetrics.0011

Some people call it metrics and others may call it measuring marketing efforts, whatever you call it, it is an important part of any type of marketing campaign. How do you start measuring your social media marketing?

  1. Goals – first of all you must understand your goal when running social media marketing, and how are these social media channels helping you grow your business.
  2. Increase visibility – Are you using your social media to gain more exposure? You can measure your exposure through mentions, hangouts discussion, tags etc. You want to make sure that you get positive feedbacks and impressions.
  3. Increase sales – Measure your sales through your social media marketing campaign.

Tools to track your social media marketing success

constant-analysis-of-brand-activity-on-Pinterest

There is lots of software to use when tracking your social media; most of these tools are expensive. If you want to track your success on social media manually here is the guide:

  1. Have a Google Ananlytics, log in to your google analytics every month and view your page views, Social vs. organic, your top content of the month, your top pages of the month, which social media channel has brought you most traffic for the month.
  2. Social site number – track down your social media sites, which of the social media has grown or lost fans, which posts or campaign has gain more attention than the other. Write down all these things so you later on can manage and rearrange your plan.
  3. Blog – track blog subscribers and email newsletter sign ups, this number are important and because this is where people are interested in have a deeper connection with you. This number is your big chance of converting into sales.

Conclusion

Social media is a powerful tool to use to attracting people into your business and improving your relationship with your current customers. The secret of social media is ENGAGEMENT, social media is not just another advertising board, If you approach social media this way success will rarely be yours.

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

 

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Office: (410) 344-7874

Fax: (202) 318-0689

rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

How to build relationship with your customers

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

The very success of a business is the relationship a company has with its customers, your customers can put you out of business and therefore it is important that you have long term and trusting relationship with your customers. You do not only want to convince your customers they need your brand but you need to make it worth it for them. Follow these easy steps on how to build a solid relationship with your customers.

sbc

Step 1 – Be honest

It is important that you are honest with your customers, everybody knows there is always the pros and cons of products and services, be honest with the cons of your products or services. So your customers know what to expect and what not to do with your products, if they want the best result.

Money cannot buy one of the most important things to promote your business, its relationship. And just like every relationship may it be family, loved ones and friends investing time and effort and mostly listing to your clients are very important factors on how to gain their trust.

Step 2 – Build a network

You current clients are your gold, they should be treated with high importance as they can be part of your marketing campaign. The most common marketing that spreads faster than any marketing techniques out there is the “The word of mouth marketing”. Use your satisfied clients as your marketing tool, to tell their friends, friends of friends about your brand. Network starts with your current client, make sure you listen to them about your products, ask for a short review of the pros and cons as you can learn to adjust and be ready for the next clients coming your way.

Step 3 – Communication

A great relationship occurs when great communication is exerted, put extra effort in communicating with your clients. Do not keep them hanging or waiting for an email from you. Instead pick up the phone and call your clients or potential clients. It makes them feel special and heard. If you run a business where email is your way of communicating with your clients, do not forget to introduce yourself or send out a welcome letter to your new clients. For your current clients, you can a send out follow up emails on how they are doing with your products or services and what they could expect more from your company. This is also a great tool to determine the things your company lack or need more of.

What is the most important thing in customer relationship?

Business is all about activity, building brand awareness, learning new ways to promote your business, learning new ways to give your clients their needs. These are very logical for any business owner, yet there are still lots of business owners who experience losing clients from time to time.

Studies show that loyal customers are the most apt to tell their friends about a certain product or service, creating strong word of mouth marketing. Again “Word of mouth marketing” is the most important element of all marketing campaign.

So here are extra steps to building strong and solid customer relationship:

  • Be genuine and friendly
  • Smile and be helpful
  • Be a good listener
  • Tell the truth
  • Offer free resources, information and solution
  • Make your customers feel extra important
  • Learn Improve and repeat

Conclusion

Remember building a strong and solid customer relationship, you need to have the rest of your team to be engaged in this method. Make a plan or a rule of how to react to your customers and how you best can help your customers. You need to determine your goal and have everyone from your company to share the same goal.

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Office: (410) 344-7874

Fax: (202) 318-0689

rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

http://www.socraticsbc.com

 

 

Our Goal

SocraticSBC’s staff provides quality business building solutions to individuals who are trying to start a new business or are just updating an existing one. We provide you and your business with a great selection of online services that will help you streamline your startup time, budget, and take your business to the next level. You may not have the time or expertise to perform all of the one off task that are needed to get your business up and running. SocraticSBC is here to help you. We have a number of affordable services that are designed to help you start or grow your business, depending on your specific needs.

SEO – What type of Websites DOES Google loves

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

SEO has been a battle through online marketing for years, on how to properly place ones website on the Google search engine or other major Search engines. Since Google has been unhappy with automated Link building techniques, it has reversed or changed its way to recognize a good website/content and link building. Let us get to know what a good website is according to Google.

Penguin is on the look and Panda is using it s kung fu power to kick out bad contents and bad link building techniques.

Google are constantly updating their Algorithm to make sure readers get reliable contents and relevant websites. The introduction of Penguin has made SEO experts change the way they build link and Panda has penalized over optimized and adsensed sites, has proved that SEO is a less practiced techniques to gain online visibility.

Google now have high demands and standards

Google is basically tired of OLD friend SEO and now wants businesses to come up with unique way to promote their businesses, mostly through high quality contents and PR. Panda and Penguin are not the bad guys, they simply ensure that you consumers/readers get the best contents/news and posts online. Google have a special love for Content marketing, which is a total break up moment for traditional SEO and online media. Google loves brands, after all brands are what Google eat and a source of revenue. So this means when owning a blog, you must own up to your niche and come up with great, reliable and fresh contents for your blog posts. Secondly rich contents and proper use of URL are heavily favored by Google.

The death of SEO

seo death

Google has always been a smart operator, if it wants to put one brand or content on a pedestal then be it. These scenarios does not mean the death of SEO, Your Business success lies in collaboration of relationship between content marketing and SEO, it will only reach its potential if it is all designed to be symbiotic. This means you need more just content marketing tools and management to gain the online visibility you want for your business. You need to combine all marketing techniques all together, from content marketing, social media marketing, media marketing and SEO to truly get yourself on the first page of google and maintaining that position is a challenge itself.

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 929-6395
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

Download our free eBook Multitasking and Prioritizing:

laptop

Why Content and social media marketing go hand in hand

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

The virtual age for business taking give importance to true social media engagement by using credible contents. This step enables target audiences to be hooked with your post and make them feel your post is relevant to their lives. For instance, those who are fond of buying shoes and most likely they have a favorite store to do shopping for it. The place where they feel comfortable and well suits their needs. But despite buying the shoes there is something about the brand or its place why they frequently go there. Just as though, readers have websites bookmarked because they want to be updated in such blog site. This is why through the years, content marketing and strategies evolve and it became a social influencer. Let us get to know more details why content marketing go hand in hand with social media marketing.

 

Secures Online Presence

Slide1

Successful contents brought the crowd in to its base as they see such posts as worthy to read about. Online companies focus on its presence to either catch up with long term businesses or outperform them. Big social media accounts are your contents other spot to be seen by target clients. People nowadays want something that is fresh, with real kick and informative.

  • Providing strong media presence through content marketing enables your online business a talk about most especially if your readers are dying to know more about its offers.

 

Social Media Matters!

Slide2

Although most users are actively involve with socializing over social media accounts and not totally in to an important matter still it’s a crucial tool for online success. .For that alone old and new techniques are being used by social media influencers to help pull out large number of audience.

  • Write down in your marketing plan to who, where, when and how you can publicize your contents. This means to say that you need to undergo target client research from which you’d be sure as a marketer that you give your thoughts to the right persons.
  • Now decide where you should post the created content. Research on top visited blog or content sites and orient yourself on how things go with each site.
  • There is always a perfect timing to post and share your contents to improve online presence. Of course timings vary upon the place so go back to target client research and post on time when your target clients can view it.

 

Include Brand Awareness

Slide3

Lastly, remember that your blacks must be related to your offers – both products and services. Content marketing is valuable once it is done according to research-focused approach. You aim to educate your readers and at the same time linger their interest. Visual representations can add colors, value and excitement towards your readers.

 

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 929-6395
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com

Top Strategies for Social Media Marketing in 2014

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather

For current small business takers they often came to realize how important social media marketing for their venture. Jolt fact actually says that the number one daily activity of internet users is going to social media websites. This is the reason in itself why most businesses nowadays have their official social media account that is active every day. In fact the social media activities became bigger as day goes by. If you as a small business owner did not yet tried to market on these tools then you have now been missing a large chunk of opportunities. Thanks to Mark – the creator of Facebook who made so many complexities and possibilities not only for regular users but as well as to small business owners. Indeed, it is exciting to jump directly on the track of doing social media marketing and strategies. Let us find out the top strategies for 2014 and how you can apply this.

 

Providing a Game Plan for career Taking

 

Slide1

 

Remember that lack of implementation strategies will put all your efforts into waste. Your game plan here is to set limitation on your posts or tweets to be published on a daily basis. Mark the scheduling on your marketing plan and decide what time should these posts will likely be seen by your target clients.

  • Note: For starters, it is wise to do personal research relating to your competitors strategies. Take note of how often or the amount of posts they make on a day.
  • Not being overly active will keep your accounts updated and at the same time on the safe side. Failure to so will result to receiving notifications to stop using the account because of spammed actions they have seen in your account.

 

Strategy #2 Give Fair Importance to Each Account

 

Each created account is valuable in its own entity because they obviously differ on trends and mode of usage. There are contents that are shareable on one channel but not on the other so give time to know what are the leading topics on each channel. Adjust your social media marketing strategy according to the covered audience of the account.

  • Some websites are attracted to informative contents and it is worth sharing by subscribers. On the other hand, some focus on limited content like in Twitter while Instagram is more on photo sharing and hashtags.

 

Strategy #3 Meet Beyond the Usual Customer Service

Slide2

It is very important to show politeness especially if you gain new followers. Send them out messages or tweet them back saying thank you for the follow. If by chance you tag someone with a question and they would never reply this means that trust is not yet established. So know the ways around tagging and tweeting to which they would respond.

 

Evaluate your strategies time after time and look upon these which are effective and which do not seem to work well. Remember that current research tools will get you in the right updates.

 

Socratic SBC | Small Business Consulting

2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700 Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Office: (410) 929-6395
Fax: (202) 318-0689
rwhunni@socraticsbc.com