Small Business Content Marketing: Is it Worth It?

As a small business with limited time and resources, you may be wondering if content marketing is really worth it? With larger companies that have greater funds and more employees, it may seem like an easier question for them to answer. But all companies, both large and small, can reap the benefits of content marketing, especially when new content is created consistently and promoted effectively.

For small businesses, your content will reflect your niche and will be a key driver for how prospective clients will find you online. Your content marketing strategy needs to focus on your target audience, the keywords those potential clients are using, the type of content you will create and how often, and how you will track your effectiveness (i.e. conversion tracking, etc.). These efforts will be worth your while when you see your traffic and sales increase.

Qseeker can help you create a content marketing and overall search engine marketing plan to drive the right customers to your small business online. If you have any questions, please contact Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

Cultivate an Inbound Marketing Strategy Targeted towards Customers Who Want to Find You

If you own a business, then you are probably familiar with “outbound marketing.” But is it providing the biggest marketing bang for the buck? It employs traditional marketing tactics that include print advertising, direct mail, sales calls, commercials and billboards. Although some of these strategies can be effective in the long run, these advertisements are often seen by many people who have no interest in your products or services, making it a costly effort. With “inbound marketing” however, marketing efforts focused on strategies such as keyword-optimized content, social media, blogging, search engine optimization and paid advertisements will organically attract those who are searching online for your product or service. As written in the article Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing – What’s Best for 2017?, “According to the article, SEO-generated inbound leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate. Why? Inbound leads are coming from people who initiated a call or navigated to a website. They’re actively shopping and intend to make a purchase.”

As mentioned in our previous post here, now is the time to think about how you want to spend your marketing dollars in 2017. Qseeker can help you cultivate an inbound marketing effort focused on the customers who want to find you, providing you a greater return on your investment. Call Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

Online Marketing: A Must for Small Businesses in 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, businesses are not only reflecting on the past year but also looking ahead to 2017, including analyzing their yearly budgets. In
particular, small businesses have more limited financial resources and need to be smart and efficient with their dollars. Every small business will have a marketing budget, and there is evidence and positive benefits why they should focus more of their dollars on online marketing in 2017.

A recent article on Search Engine Land, Why SMBs should spend more of their budget on online marketing in 2017, lists a few top reasons why online marketing should be given more focus in the marketing budgets of small businesses. First, as traditional advertising spend is falling, online marketing spend continues to rise. For your small business, this means that your competitors are most likely spending more on search engine optimization and search engine marketing because customers are increasingly searching online for products and services. Second, online marketing has a host of benefits, including a higher return on investment, being able to immediately track metrics to provide ongoing feedback, and the low cost of channels such as social media that can reach a larger audience than traditional means. Lastly, the article references a recent study of small businesses, and the results support the trend towards the need for a larger online marketing budget to gain a greater search engine presence and, in turn, more customers.

Contact Qseeker to help you understand how your small business can experience a higher return on investment when you focus on online marketing. Call Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

(image courtesy of jphotostyle.com)

The Power of the Niche

At Qseeker we believe in the importance of the niche, that by understanding your very specific target market, you can succeed. You may feel that your small business and website is at an SEO disadvantage when competing with bigger sites, but there are strategies you can use to get more targeted and niche search engine traffic that the bigger sites just can’t do. On the SEO blog Moz.com, Rand Fishkin’s article, How Can Small Businesses/Websites Compete with Big Players in SEO?, describes just how small businesses and websites can use their smaller size to their advantage in their SEO efforts.

Fishkin goes on to explain that both the large sites and small sites have their own respective advantages, and that smaller businesses can be just as competitive in their search engine marketing if they focus on specific niches. For example, big sites tend to have better domain authority, quantity and diversity of external links, trustworthiness, financial resources and the ability to invest if and when something is a big priority. For smaller sites, they have the benefit of being able to switch directions and priority quickly due to less and smaller teams, the ability to be more creative, have a specific focus, and build their business around a particular niche.

To remain competitive, Fishkin lays out 5 ways small businesses can thrive and grow. First, focus on keywords that bigger sites are not or cannot compete on. This will require some analysis of specific target markets that you can specialize in. Also, build up your authority, trust and brand for your specific areas, which includes targeting content that is more indirect and does not take the same path to conversion as your larger competitors. Once you have targeted your specific keywords, strive to be the best resource by focusing more energy in those areas and developing more content than your larger competitors ever would. Lastly, build more direct and stronger relationships with those that will help boost your authenticity, trust and niche appeal.

Use your smaller size and website to your advantage and discover the SEO opportunities that you may be overlooking. Qseeker can help you do just that.

How to Make a Website Mobile Friendly

Why is it so important to make a website mobile-friendly? You may look at your website and say, “it looks just fine.” However, it’s now crucial that your website is mobile friendly, because Google will begin to judge a website’s search engine ranking on its mobile friendliness. This change will occur in April 2015. The first step to making your website mobile friendly is to take the Mobile-Friendly Test provided by Google. Type the name of your web page’s URL into the search browser and click on Analyze. If your site is mobile friendly, then you are set. If your site is not mobile friendly, there may be several reasons why. Common reasons are the text is too small to read, the links are too close together, or the mobile viewport is not set, for example.

Further examine the Mobile-Friendly Test and see how Googlebot views your website’s homepage on a smartphone. For example, the analysis may say something like this: “This page uses 22 resources which are blocked by robots.txt.” You will see how a smartphone user views your homepage. The text may appear very small and certain important parts of the page may not show up on the screen. Nowadays, with so many other options, users will move on to the next website—or even worse, your competitor’s site—if your website looks unprofessional or is impossible to read. Your next step is to fix all of these issues by making the website mobile friendly.

The analysis should show what platform your website uses. For instance, if you use WordPress, Google provides a guide for how to fix your issues in WordPress specifically. Either you or your developer can use this guide to make your website mobile friendly. The same goes with other common platforms. If you are using WordPress, for instance, it may simply require a switch or upgrade of your website’s theme and voila, your website is now mobile friendly. Often, though, issues are more complicated than that and a developer or expert is necessary to take your website into the realm of mobile friendliness.

If the latter sentence describes you, a business owner who wants a high search engine ranking, but you don’t have the technical knowhow, please contact us at Qseeker.com. We are happy to discuss the options of making your website mobile friendly, and the best part is, we will do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and creation and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to make your website mobile friendly, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (and 3.3 Million Retweets)

It’s the feeling in the pit of your stomach as you climb the rollercoaster track. It’s the neurotransmitters that dance around your body when you meet a love interest for the very first time. It’s all the commercials you watch before Oscar Sunday and Ellen DeGeneres’ conviction when she tells 47 million viewers that she is about to produce the most retweeted photo of all time.

That feeling is anticipation, a major key to happiness and a vital tool in successful marketing.

Like many celebrities, DeGeneres spent the weeks leading up to The Oscars promoting the award ceremony and engaging potential viewers on social media. Once the event went live she told a few well-timed jokes, as hosts tend to do, and made her big announcement. DeGeneres informed America that on this night she would generate the most retweeted photo of all time. She repeated this idea throughout the three hour broadcast, molding the doubters into believers and the believers into supporters.

The hype that DeGeneres created caused the likes of Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Bradley Copper, and Julia Roberts to join in on the group selfie. Cooper turned the Samsung Galaxy horizontally, pushed a button, and all of the sudden the dream became a reality. The photo immediately went viral on Twitter, boasting nearly three and a half million retweets. In just under one hour, the record previously held by Barack Obama’s account, had been broken.

DeGeneres’ achievement is a crucial lesson for all leaders, business owners, and visionaries. Successful marketing is all about building excitement, creating a buzz, and attracting outside support. If you have that great idea, and you have the support of your followers then there’s no telling just how much success you can anticipate.

Are You Feeling Lucky?

By nature we are all curious creatures. From a young age we find ourselves asking “Why?” as we attempt to make sense of the world around us.  A great question may leave us pondering the universe; it may puzzle or enchant us.  In law, it can be powerful tool when it comes to a cross-examination, a deposition, or even an initial interaction. But did you know that as of this past September, asking the right questions can improve your business like never before?

Well, you better believe it. Because on September 26th, 2013, on the eve of its Quinceañera, Google launched a new search algorithm called the Hummingbird. Named for the speed and accuracy of the small bird, the Hummingbird is meant to be ‘a more human way to interact with users and provide a more direct answer’ (according to Wikipedia).

The new algorithm, which impacts the results of 90% of searches, relies heavily on questions and conversational topics, unlike the old model which focused on keywords. How this works is Google looks at your search as a combination of words, allowing it to process your query like never before.

As one Entrepreneur article suggests, the goal is to provide results that actually answer the question at hand. It seems that the days of trial and error may finally be behind us. If you want something from Google, all you have to do is ask. 

So how can understanding Google’s Hummingbird model improve the online visibility for your law practice?

One of the best ways to improve online visibility for your law practice is to ask all of the right questions! This means optimize your website, start a blog, and set up a Q&A section that your clients can use as a point of reference. Once you start updating regularly and cross-promoting on social media, you will see the difference it makes.

Not only does actively posting strong, original content help your website pop up in search engines, but doing so empowers your client to get informed before your preliminary phone conversation.  It’s a win-win situation.

If you are determined to be one step ahead of your competition, take advantage of your communication skills, set up a compelling blog with original content, and use the new Google Hummingbird model to ensure that you’re the lawyer everybody’s asking about.

And if you don’t have time to do it, then it’s a good thing you’ve found the experts that do. Qlegal will tailor a strategy with your individual needs in mind to help you capitalize on the many clients already searching for you and your services today.

For SEO, blog, website, and marketing inquiries you can also email Lia Gurin directly at lia.gurin@qlegal.com

The Quality of Your Lunch

A recent study from the California staffing firm OfficeTeam, took a look at how American workers eat lunch. The survey was conducted by interviewing over 400 workers in the US. The goal was to understand the eating habits of US workers. Read more.

 

What do you like?

Have you ever asked your clients and customers, what it is they like about working with you? “What do I do really well?” “What do you like about working with me?” You might get some important information,  something about why people buy from you in the first place and then why they stay with you and keep coming back. If you are brave you might also ask a tough question like what are the things they don’t like. This might give you the info you need to improve and to make things better. What’s not good can be better and what’s good can be great. Finding out these answers are the key ingredients in getting better and meeting the challenge of Quality in your marketing.

All (Everything) is Local: The Exception

We all know the axiom that “all politics is local” — well, in the days of the Internet you can pretty much fill in the blank. In the case of Blockbuster you might say: “All quality is local,” or “All entertainment is local.” Too local, maybe. How is it possible for a company — a brand — to lose the entertainment foothold, to lose the living room of millions of consumers, and just fade away?

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Blockbuster was an entertainment staple when it was first conceived in the 1980s, and it remained a go-to source for movies into the new millennium. Yet, it appears to be the end of an era for the one-time video giant. Dish Network Corp., which bought the brand in 2011 as it was approaching bankruptcy, now plans to close its 300 remaining retail stores by early 2014.

At its pique of success, Blockbuster was a booming and lucrative franchise, allowing consumers to rent movies to watch at their leisure – a cheaper alternative to purchasing video tapes or heading to the theater. Read more.